The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) held a panel discussion on environmental justice and advancing equity within Black communities on Sep. 29 at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference. Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06) and several leading EPA leading held the conversation.(Photo by Thijs Stoop for Unsplash)

By Tashi McQueen, AFRO Political Writer,
Report For America Corps Member,

On Sep. 29 Black leaders came together for a conversation on environmental justice and advancing equity during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06) led the conversation. They spoke about advancing Black opportunity, equity and health.

“We have come a long way, but we’re still fighting,” said Rep. Clyburn (D-SC-06). “We are fighting against misrepresentation.” 

Panelists addressed questions and concerns about Black community environmental neglect, including water infrastructure. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives spoke about an office titled Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, which they described as a big step forward.

“I have overseen the investments of Michael S. Regan, EPA for environmental justice administrator, and President Biden to ensure we are correcting historical wrongdoings,” said Rosemary Enobakhare, associate administrator for public engagement and environmental education for the EPA. “We had a conversation with the Jackson, Miss. community to find long-term and near-term solutions for fixing the water situation.”

“Under Regan’s leadership, we are injecting environmental justice into the DNA of the EPA,” said Dorian Blythers, EPA deputy chief of staff. “We must continue to push forward in a way that gets us closer and closer to justice.”
“I am honored to have this opportunity as we finally proceed from faith to resources,” said Robin Mars Colin, EPA senior advisor to the administrator. “We must not resuscitate racism with our environmental funding efforts.”

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