PEOPLE OF COLOR EJ SUMMIT II PHOTO ESSAY
October 30, 2002 - The Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership, held in Washington, DC in October 23-26, was the place to be if you had justice and equity on your environmental radar. The four-day meeting captured the hearts and minds of more than 1400 individuals representing groups from around the United States and the world. This photo essay attempts to capture some of the highlights of the gathering.
Photo 1: Dr. Beverly Wright (Deep South Center for Environmental and Economic Justice at Xavier University and NBEJN), Chair of Summit II, opens national gathering followed by a Native American prayer and cultural ceremony.
Photo 2: Summit II opened to a packed house with standing room only. Extensive outreach swelled the meeting planned number from 500 to over 1400-including 1200 voting delegates and 200 non-voting participants.
Photo 3: Reverend Bernice Powel Jackson, Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ, stepped up to the plate and sponsored the Summit II. Rev. Jackson also gave one of the more memorable speeches at Summit II challenging EJ leaders to be true leaders.
Photo 4: Rose Augustine (Tucsonans for a Clean Environment) reads the Principles of Environmental Justice that were adopted at the 1991 Summit.
Photo 5: Mililani Trask (Indigenous Women's Network) reads passage from "A Call to Action," another document adopted more than eleven years ago at the First Summit.
Photo 6: Pam Tau Lee, (Asian Pacific Environmental Network) reads off the milestones and accomplishments of the EJ movement over the past decade.
Photo 7: Summit II organizers recognize Reverend Benjamin Muhammad, formerly Rev. Benjamin Chavis (Nation of Islam) and Charles Lee (U.S. EPA) for their groundbreaking and visionary leadership at the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, the sponsor of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.
Photo 8: Reverend Benjamin Muhammad (formerly Rev. Benjamin Chavis) relays to the audience the thinking behind the First Summit, the Principles of Environmental Justice, and A Call to Action. There was general agreement that the words of the latter two documents, written more than a decade earlier, were as true today as they were in 1991.
Photo 9: Youth and students leaders get the attention of Summit leaders through an open demonstration at a plenary. The young people hung in and were able to get most of their demands met. Nelson Carrasquillo (CATA), a member of the Summit II Executive Committee, outlines a plan of action and grounds rules for addressing the youth and students concerns.
Photo 10: Torkwase Karame (Citizens for Environmental Justice) speaking at the Youth Rally (Luncheon). She also served as co-chair of the Summit II Youth Sub-committee.
Photo 11: Che Lopez (Southwest Public Workers Union) energizes crowd at Youth Ralley (Luncheon). He also served as co-chair of the Summit II Youth Sub-Committee.
Photo 12: Youth from Los Angeles address the Summit II on urban transportation justice and the need to organizer transit riders.
Photo 13: Youth speakers representing migrant farm workers called on the Summit II delegates to join them in their environmental and economic justice struggles.
Photo 14: The voice of students and the "hip hop" generation resonated at the meeting. Young people made it clear that they were definitely in the "house."
Photo 15: Each day of the Summit II was opened with a spiritual and cultural celebration. The Aztec Dancers and Kankoran West African Dance Company combine forces for a moving experience.
Photo 16: Native and indigenous peoples traveled longs distances to participate and have their voices heard at the Summit II.
Photo 17: Summit II delegates were clear about their opposition to drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuse.
Photo 18: Joselito Laudencia (APEN) leads a plenary that addresses "Building Solidarity and Sustaining a Multicultural Movement."
Photo 19: Cipriana Jurado Herrera (Centro de Investigacion y Solidaridad Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua) addresses Summit delegation. Her work as chair of the Summit II International Sub-Committee aided in getting a large contingent of international participants.
Photo 20: Damu Smith (National Black Environmental Justice Network) was part of the local Washington, DC Local Arrangement Sub-Committee that organized the Summit II EJ Rally.
Photo 21: Delegates used the 80 plus workshops and hands-on training sessions to develop real solutions to real problems.
Photo 22: Workshop participants were serious about their work. The Summit II participants produced an assortment of resolutions, movement recommendations, and more than two-dozen resource/policy papers.
Photo 23: Workshop topics ranged from childhood lead poisoning, asthma epidemic to military toxics, base clean up to clean production.
Photo 24: Zenaida Mendez (Summit II Coordinator) shared with the attendees the long road to the Summit II and thanked the people who stuck it out to the end.
Photo 25: The "Crowning Women Awards Dinner" honored 12 "sheroes" of the environmental justice movement. Everyone knows-though it's not widely publicized or demonstrated-that women are the backbone of the EJ movement.
Photo 26: Carol Marentes (Farmworker Environmental and Economic Justice Network) delivers a passionate plea for unity, coming together, and respect for diversity at the Summit II closing plenary.