Monday, November 9, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
A panel held by the Yale Environmental Dialogue moderated by Gerald Torres, Professor of Environmental Justice at the Yale School of the Environment
Vernice Miller-Travis, Vice Chair, Maryland State Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities
Vernice has vast experience as a civil rights and environmental policy analyst and advocate; consultant for federal and state agencies, foundations and nonprofits; environmental program manager and foundation program officer. She was a contributing author to the landmark report “Toxic Waste and Race in the United States.” This inspired her to go on to help build a social movement that is rooted at the intersection of race, environment, economics, social justice and public health. The Sierra Club recently awarded Vernice the Robert Bullard Environmental Justice Award.
Michael Mendez, Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine, Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy
Michael is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning and Policy at the University of California, Irvine. He most recently served as the inaugural James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow in Sustainability Studies at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Michael has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, gubernatorial appointee, and as vice chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission. Dr. Méndez’s new book “Climate Change from the Streets,” will be published by Yale University Press (2020).
Leslie Fields Senior Director, Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities, Sierra Club
Leslie brings more than 20 years of federal, state, local, and international environmental justice and environmental law and policy experience to the Sierra Club. Fields was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the Mickey Leland Urban Air Toxics Research Center. She serves on the board of the Children’s Environmental Health Network. She also serves on the board of Adeso African Solutions (formerly Horn Relief—an East African natural resources and development organization).
Fields teaches international environmental law as an adjunct law professor at Howard University School of Law. Leslie Fields is a graduate of Cornell University and the Georgetown University Law Center.