The Green leadership Trust came together for our 6th Annual Environmental Leadership Convening in one of the key battleground states for 2020, North Carolina. on May 2nd – 4th, we gathered in the home state of the environmental justice movement, a state who even today is actively confronting the widespread issue of gerrymandering and while also dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Board members from twenty-five different national and local environmental organizations spent 3 days discussing how to drive equity-based agendas on our boards and develop a strategy for evaluating the highest level of leadership.
As we do in all cities we visit, The Green Leadership Trust held an open-invite reception where we connected with local leaders of color in the Durham area. These events are critical to expanding and strengthening our network of current and potential members and for identifying more strong candidates for our board matching and recruitment programming.
Earthseed Land Collective hosted us on Saturday and as we visited their co-op, we discussed their work to create alternative models for sustainability, equity, and cooperation within communities of color. We spent time at the Hayti Heritage Center, an African Methodist Episcopal church that was declared a historic building in Durham and repurposed as a heritage center focused on presenting cultural arts programs related to the African American experience, promoting cross-cultural understanding between isolated communities and fostering intercultural support. Our speakers at Hayti included: Naeema Muhammad and Ayo Wilson from the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network led a talk on the decades-long environmental issues brought to communities of color by the local hog industry, Savonala “Savi” Horne and Omari Wilson from the Land Loss Prevention Project shared more on the issues of gentrification facing Durham and the subsequent displacement of communities of color. By hearing directly from these leaders in the environmental justice movement, Green Leadership Trust continued to inform our equity work on a sector-wide level and strengthen relationships with the leaders of color that are key to the future sustainability of the environmental movement.