On Saturday June 20th, under the leadership of Al Callaway, an Environmental Justice Conference was organized at the Broward County main library in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The Conference was sponsored by Operation Green Leaves Inc., the South Florida Community Partners, EarthWise Productions, Inc., Florida Atlantic University, the Wilderness Society and the South Florida Times.
The main topic of discussion at the conference was the Recovery Stimulus Act funding for Everglades Restoration – $360 million. The Opening speaker and host was Audrey Peterman of EarthWise Productions. I was on a panel.
Participating agencies represented on various panels included the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District. Frank Peterman, Regional Director of the Wilderness Society spoke about the importance of maintaining our National Park system.
The main message was that the under-served communities and the poor and disadvantage communities must be included in and be positively impacted by the Recovery Stimulus Act funding for Eveglades Restoration. The General public must be educated on the subjects. The attendees which included a number of Community activists, community based organizations and other agencies were encourage to bring the message back home to their communities.
Gabrielle Vincent called in from Limonade, Haiti to talk about Sonje Ayiti and her agricultural program. She was joined by Karissa McNiven, a volunteer from Wyoming, who was in Haiti for a month as part of her post-graduate work.