Pitt–Greensburg and the Westmoreland Diversity Coalition are partnering again this fall to host the Growth Through Knowledge and Understanding speaker series. This year’s theme is environmental justice.
The series will be offered virtually and is free. Participants are asked to register in order to receive Zoom information. Each session will begin at 7 p.m. with an anticipated length of 45 to 60 minutes.
Beth Weinberger, director of research and policy for the Environmental Health Project, opens the series on Sept. 22, when she discusses “What is Environmental Justice?”
The Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit organization that assists and supports residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by unconventional oil and gas development (or fracking). It also serves as a resource center for information related to fracking activities. The group has conducted more than 550 health evaluations and placed more than 800 air monitoring devices in communities across the United States.
The rest of the speaker series includes:
Oct. 6: Accessibility/Equity in Use of Public Spaces
Oct. 20: Environmental Policies and Systemic Racism
Nov. 3: Use of Native Lands, presented by Lee Dingus of the Echoes of the Four Directions
Nov. 17: Consequences of Urban Planning and Climate Change and Its Effects on Minority Populations, presented by Justin Dula, of the Office of Environmental Justice, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and vice president of the American Planning Association (Pennsylvania chapter)
“Our goal is to help our community understand the concepts of environmental justice,” said Carlotta Paige, founder and co-chair of the Westmoreland Diversity Coalition. “We hope this series will continue to challenge folks to think about how we can create a more equitable world which values respect and dignity for all people.”
Al Thiel, director of the Student Center and Student Involvement at Pitt-Greensburg, co-chairs this event with Paige.