Indigenous and Environmental Justice Advocate Donna Chavis will speak about her recent work in halting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600 mile long natural gas pipeline project proposed to go through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The proposed pipeline route would have impacted mostly rural, low-income, communities of color and indigenous communities including Lumbee Tribe in Robeson County, North Carolina, the largest tribe in North Carolina, as well as the Haliwa-Saponi Ttribe in North Carolina and the Monacan Indian Nation and Rappahannock Indian Tribe in Virginia. In July 2020 Dominion Energy cancelled the project after years of opposition from local communities and environmental groups. Donna will talk about the advocacy and policy tools used to stop the project including environmental justice provisions of NEPA--which were recently rolled back under the Trump administration--, how policies have impacted environmental justice communities and other environmental justice issues she's working on.
Donna Chavis is an Elder of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and resides in the tribe's ancestral home of Pembroke, North Carolina. She has over 40 years of service in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors on the local, state, and national level and currently serves as Senior Fossil Fuels Campaigner with Friends of the Earth U.S. Donna is a recognized leader in social and environmental justice change and practice. She was a member of the Planning Committee of the First National People of Color Leadership Summit in 1991 which developed the Principles of Environmental Justice. She remains committed to those principles and has specifically integrated them in her work over the past 4 years in opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
This event is hosted by the Environmental Justice and Anti-Racism Student Government Committee of the MPA Environmental Science and Policy program. Our goal with this event is to highlight the important work environmental justice advocates are doing to fight for racial equity and environmental justice and to learn how we can support this work as policy professionals.