Tamara is a native New Yorker and environmentalist focused on equity, access and community. She develops capacity building programs and creates multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy at the local, regional, and national level.

Tamara is the executive director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN) based in Baltimore, Maryland. MdEHN levels the playing field for vulnerable populations in service to its mission to promote the elimination of exposures to environmental threats to improve human health.

Tamara casts a wide net in service to the environmental community. Among other activities, she is the co- chair of the DC chapter of EcoWomen. DC EcoWomen is a community of approximately 6,000 professional women who inspire each other to create a healthy and equitable society. During her tenure on the Executive Board she has held several positions including vice president of Professional Development where she produced the organization’s signature salon and monthly educational forum – EcoHour.

Tamara is the vice chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee, where she advocates for meaningful engagement and responsive public resources. She is a director on the Board of Directors for Women’s Voices for the Earth, a mighty organization based in Missoula, Montana, where she supports science based advocacy that gives voice to women fighting to protect their health from toxic chemicals. She is also co-chair of the Green Leadership Trust.

She received has a JD and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a BA in Political Science from
The City College of New York.

Yolanda has diligently made it her life’s mission to play a role in outreaching and educating others, working with small businesses to fortune 500 companies – in the areas of cultural inclusion and education for over twenty years. In 2011, she took her skill sets of communication design and marketing and stepped out on the limb to become a bicycling advocate in her community under the developed name Ride in Living Color. Her goal was to tell the stories of African Americans bicyclists along with presenting the health and social benefits this type of recreational and active transportation offers communities like hers. In the act of advocating for increased bicycling in her community and throughout the country, Yolanda took another advocacy leap in
2015 and enrolled in the Urban Sustainability Master’s Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She graduated in June of 2018, with the mission of furthering her mobility and environmental justice work in low income and communities of color. Yolanda has utilized your skills and experiences to address the transportation equity issues in unconventional and regenerative ways, as she too works to always build upon healing approaches of investigating, designing, and implementing creative mobility justice solutions.


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Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Ph.D. is a curator at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Wilkinson co-curated two of the inaugural exhibitions for the new museum: A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond and A Century in the Making: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Wilkinson is also developing the museum’s collections in architecture and design.

Prior to NMAAHC, Wilkinson spent six years as Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. In that capacity, she curated over twenty exhibitions, including A People’s Geography: The Spaces of African American Life and two award-winning shows—Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists and For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People.shifting landscape

She has also worked at the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Wilkinson contributed essays to New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement and Potentially Harmful: The Art of American Censorship. Her writing has also appeared in the International Review of African American Art, ARC Magazine: Contemporary Caribbean Visual Art and Culture, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, and Revue Noire: Art Contemporain Africain, among others. Wilkinson’s current research project, “V is for Veranda,” about architectural heritage in the Anglophone Caribbean, has been presented to international audiences in Suriname, England, India, and the United States. Wilkinson is active in several associations in the museum field. She served on the Inclusion and Access Task Force of the Association of Art Museum Curators and she is on the board of the Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL). As a CCL fellow in 2012, Wilkinson completed a short-term residency at the Design Museum in London.

She holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from Emory University.

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Gisla Bush has been a resident of the City of West Park, Florida for most of her life. She is the eldest of 9 children. Gisla received a homeschool education from the age of 5 to 15. At the age of 15 she began a dual enrollment program at FAU High School, where she took college classes through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) during her 3 remaining years at FAU High School. She graduated from FAU High School in the Spring of 2013 and 3 months later, at the age of 18, graduated from FAU with a Bachelor’s Degree in UrbanDesign with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Not only was she able to complete her 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in 3 years but she also graduated with cum laude honors. Subsequently she obtained her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in the Fall 2015 with a 3.8 GPA. Gisla was the youngest in both her bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to graduate at her commencement ceremonies within her given major.

During Gisla’s collegiate career, she, along with her two sisters, Gabrielle and Grace, who also accomplished similar feats, were recognized by FAU on many occasions. She was recognized as one of the “Graduate Students Making Waves” for the entire College of Design and Social Inquiry, a recognition that was also included on the FAU website as well as the FAU Graduate College brochure. She, along with her sisters and parents, were recognized at President Kelly’s 2014 State of the University Address for all of their accomplishments. She and her 2 sisters were also recognized during the half-time break at the first FAU home football game in 2014.

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More recently she was deemed one of the 100 most outstanding women in the history of FAU and was included in a book, Legacymakers: 100 Women of Distinction at Florida Atlantic University, that gave recognition to these women. This book was debuted at the 2016 FAU Gala. Additionally, Gisla was the youngest ever recipient of the Robert A. Caitlin/David W. Long Scholarship from the Planning and Black Community Division of the American Planning Association, a national award. Gisla recently started a new business venture called Gigi The Planner where she aims to aid with increasing the number of black planners by inspiring black kids to become future planners. She plans on doing this by conducting workshops in the community to teach the kids about her field of study. This past summer she conducted two successful workshops. All together there were a total of 44 attendees for both workshops, all of whom were very much engaged and intrigued about the field of urban planning. She is currently working on expanding her business to also provide career coaching for future planning students, current planning students, and those that are looking for assistance in making the next step in their career. In the meantime, she is currently working for the City of Pompano Beach as a Planner and has been there for 5 years, working in her field since the age of 18. Currently she is a Division Officer of the Planning and the Black Community Division of the American Planning and Association. In addition to that she serves on three advisory committees in the City of West Park.

She is also very involved in her church, Koinonia Worship Center and Village, serves in many different capacities in her local assembly as an usher, Sunday school teacher, event planner, amongst other things.

Also, in an effort to give back to the community she and her two sisters, have begun a math tutoring program for school-age children called GB 3 Literati in the surrounding community. In her free time, Gisla enjoys reading, crocheting, performing the piano with her family musical ensemble BG Harmonies, and, most importantly, spending time with family and friends.

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Therese McMillan assumed the position of Chief Planning Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“LA Metro”) in April 2016. In that capacity, she provides executive leadership for Metro’s planning, grant funding, and real estate functions. Key responsibilities include implementing the agency’s “Measure M” transportation sales tax ordinance; developing the countywide long range transportation plan; strategic fund program administration; and focused initiatives in transportation equity, “active transportation” planning and projects, and Metro’s contributions to the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Prior to joining LA Metro, Ms. McMillan served as the Acting Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the US Department of Transportation. During her almost 7 years at FTA, McMillan led reforms in transit safety, emergency response and resiliency investment; capital planning and oversight, and civil rights program development and oversight, including Title VI and ADA.

Before her career at FTA, McMillan was Deputy Executive Director of Policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional planning and funding agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay area. During her time with MTC, Therese was an instructor in transportation funding and finance at the Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University. She earned her B.S. degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at UC Davis, and joint Master’s degrees in City and Regional Planning, and Civil Engineering Science at UC Berkeley.


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Brandale D. Randolph, is the founder and owner of the 1854 Cycling Company. He is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Project: Poverty, a nonprofit organization that aims to design, create and implement innovative strategies to reduce poverty. Part of his work included teaching job readiness seminars at the South Plains Workforce Solutions Center, teaching financial literacy at the Lubbock County Detention Center, the Youth Transition Center and among other under-served populations. His work with disadvantaged populations earned him a TEDtalk at the inaugural TEDxTexasTechUniversity in 2013 titled “Stop Throwing Breakfast Sandwiches at the Poor.” He is an author. His 2010 book “Me & My Broke Neighbor: The 7 Things I Learned About Success Just By Living Next To Him…” has been added to financial literacy curriculum across the country. His 2016 release “Like Cavemen & Quail: Poverty Beyond Income and Mindset” has received rave reviews from reviewers and publishers all across the world. Brandale D. Randolph has given more than two dozen guest lectures on Social Entrepreneurship and Poverty Alleviation at Universities and Colleges such as Babson College, Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business, and Lubbock Christian University. He now lives in Framingham, MA with his wife and two sons.


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Dr. Ezike is an engineer, community servant, and researcher, he employs his expertise to engage the community on issues related to the protection of the environment, transportation equity, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) advocacy. He is currently a New Mobility and Equity Fellow at Union of Concerned Scientists, where he is conducting research and engaging community groups on the potential impacts of autonomous vehicles on equitable transportation and the environment. Previously he was at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, where he researched impacts of infrastructure and transportation on African-American communities. Dr. Ezike holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and a B.S. in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.


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Keith Benjamin, by nomination from Mayor John Tecklenburg, and the unanimous vote by City Council was appointed to the position of Director of the Department of Traffic and Transportation for the city of Charleston, South Carolina in April of 2017. In his position he oversees all transportation maintenance, planning and partnerships at the local, county and state level. He previously served in the Office of Policy Development, Strategic Planning and Performance as well as led the Office of Public Liaison at the US Department of Transportation.

Prior to his Federal service, Keith was Community Partnership Manager for the Voices for Healthy Kids Community Consortium with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. In this role, he was responsible for the recruiting and developing of public and private partners that were dedicated to creating healthy accessible and safe communities across the nation. At the national, regional and local level, Keith provided technical assistance to policy campaigns in underserved communities, built coalitions, increased leadership capacity, engaged elected officials, created advocacy resources and led The Nation Active Transportation Diversity Task Force.

Keith has also previously represented the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO advocating on behalf of 200,000 members and retirees and also served on Capitol Hill with Senator Carl Levin, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, the Committee on House Administration, Representative Kendrick Meek, and the late Representative Donald Payne.

He has served as a member of the National League of Cities Advisory Panel on Health Disparities, the Better Bike Share Partnership Equity Panel, the National Working Group on Healthy Food access with the Food Trust and the National Urban League and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, Citizens Advisory Committee. He has appeared and written for the American Journal of Health Promotion, Prevention Institute, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Planning Association, The Washington Post, The Root, Streetsblog, Urban Cusp, Huffington Post, and Black Enterprise.

Keith Benjamin is a graduate and Deans awardee of Swarthmore College and comes to Charleston with his wife Tiffany Nicole and son Kingsley Randall.


 

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Kenji Jasper is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, Dark and the critically-acclaimed memoir, The House on Childress Street. His work has appeared in Essence, VIBE, Ozy.com and on National Public Radio. His short story “A Moment of Clarity At The Waffle House” was nominated for a 2018 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
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Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and sustainability defined as: the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now, and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.

Trained in the UK, initially in Geography and Botany, Conservation Policy, and finally Urban Studies, he is better known today as a critical urban planning and environmental social science scholar. His combined science and social science background, together with extensive experience in local government, consulting, working for, and board-level advising of NGOs and community-based organizations, helps frame his perspectives, research and writing. This enables him to thrive at the borders and intersections of a wide range of disciplines, knowledges and methodologies which he uses in creative and original ways. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. For example, are we, as urban planners, as good at fostering belonging (recognition, reconciliation, difference, diversity, inclusion) as we are at developing prescriptions for what our cities can become (smart cities, sharing cities, sustainable cities, resilient cities)? His conviction is that just sustainabilities, which foregrounds belonging and becoming, can help us think through both, together.

Julian was co-founder in 1988, and chair until 1994, of the Black Environment Network (BEN), the first environmental justice-based organization of its kind in Britain. In 1996, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) in the UK, a network of people dedicated to enriching society and shaping the future through ideas and action, and in 2016 he became a Fellow of the UK Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), the learned society and professional body advancing geography and supporting geographers.

In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his “outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning”.

For more information please go to: https://julianagyeman.com

 

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