Advancing Communities Through the

Environmental Justice Academy

2016 National Environmental Justice Conference
and Training Program
March 11, 2016

Presenters
 Ernest Muhammad - Low Country
Alliance for Model Communities
 Sederra Ross - Clark Atlanta University
 Joan Wesley - Jackson State University
 Gwen Smith – Collier Heights
Improvement Council
 Sheryl Good - U. S. EPA, Region 4
 Daphne Wilson - U.S. EPA, Region 4
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Workshop Outline

• Background
• Curriculum overview
• Closeout
• Lessons Learned
3

EJ Academy Background
 Vision and concept
 Experience working in EJ communities
 Managing grants
 Addressing complaints
 Action plan and portfolio development
 Alumni component
4

Resources and Support

 Budget ($0 - $120,000)
 Internal (Senior and divisionlevel management)

 External (OEJ HQ, Emory
University, others)
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Human Capital and
Manpower
 Staff, details, interns
 Module development/curriculum
design

 Marketing
 Administrative tasks
 Planning and coordination
 Module implementation
6

EJ Academy Concept
 Facilitated, hands-on learning process that incorporates:
 EPA’s Collaborative Problem Solving Model
 Appreciative Inquiry Philosophy
 Smart Growth Building Blocks Process
 Leadership Development
 Open to community-based and EJ environmental leaders
actively engaged in their communities
 Facilitated by EPA staff and subject-matter experts
 Participants meet each month for 9 months

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EJ Academy
Modules
1. Discovering YOUR Power: Program Launch and Orientation
2. Make It Happen: Define Community-Identify Challenges-Create
Vision-Set Goals

3. Leading the Way: Community Capacity Building and Leadership
Development

4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Consensus Building and Dispute
Resolution

5. Know Your Neighbors: Developing Partnerships and Leveraging
Resources

6. More Than a Little Change: Identify Financial Resources and
Researching Funding

7. Taking Care of Business: Sound Management and Implementation
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8. Bringing It All Together: Evaluation and Lessons Learned

1. Discovering YOUR Power:
Program Launch and Orientation

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand program
requirements

2.Define EJ, environmental laws
and regulations

3.Recognize the CPS Model
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techniques and steps

Discovering YOUR Power:
Program Launch and Orientation
Topics/Exercises:
1. “I Have a Dream” speeches
2. Program overview and
requirements

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3. EJ 101
4. Tour of Atlantic Station
5. CPS role playing activity

Discovering YOUR Power:
Program Launch and Orientation
Speakers:
1. Southern Law Center
2. Retired EPA employee
Homework:
 Community assessment and description
 ID challenges, demographics,
boundaries, etc.
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2. Make It Happen: Define
Community-Identify ChallengesCreate
Vision-Set
Goals
Learning
Objectives:
1. Employ appreciative inquiry

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approach
2. Meditate on community story
3. Refine goals and recognize SMART
action steps
4. Learn components of a sustainable
community

Make It Happen: Define
Community-Identify ChallengesCreate
Vision-Set Goals
Topics/Exercises:

1. Jeopardy Game
2.Vision board activity
3. Ted Talk video: The Happy Secret
to Better Work

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4. Appreciative inquiry
5. Sustainable communities

Make It Happen: Define
Community-Identify ChallengesCreate
Vision-Set Goals
Speakers:
1. EPA, Sustainable Communities Expert
2. Building Blocks recipients
3.GA Senator Vincent Fort
4.Appreciate Inquiry Expert
Homework:
 Complete vision board and share with
community, dream statement

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3. Leading the Way: Community
Capacity Building and Leadership
Learning Objectives:
Development
1. Identify and manage emotions
2.Define community capacity-building

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and leadership tools
3.Understand appreciative leadership
4.Recognize characteristics of a great
leader
5.Recognize personality preferences
and leadership styles

Leading the Way: Community
Capacity Building and Leadership
Development
Topics/Exercises:

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1. Emotional intelligence
2. Personal leadership quotes
3. DISC Assessment
4. True Colors Personality Test
5. Leadership videos
6. Lego activity

Leading the Way: Community
Capacity Building and Leadership
Development
Speakers:

1. Vernice Miller-Travis, SKEO Solutions
2.EcoAction Executive Director
3.Clayton County Tax Commissioner
4.Georgia EMC Community Planner
Homework:
 Great groups self assessment
 Organizational assessment tool
 Letter to government official/succession planning
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4. Teamwork Makes the Dream
Work: Consensus Building and
Dispute
Resolution
Learning Objectives:

1. Use consensus building and
dispute resolution tools

2. Promote mutual gains within
their communities
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Teamwork Makes the Dream
Work: Consensus Building and
Dispute
Resolution
Topics/Exercises:

1. Introduction to collaboration
using appreciative inquiry,
alternative dispute resolution, and
open-space meeting tools

2. Simulation exercises
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Teamwork Makes the Dream
Work: Consensus Building and
Dispute
Resolution
Speakers:

1. ADR experts
2. Kennesaw State University
Mediation Director

Homework:
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 Finish Module 3 homework

5. Know Your Neighbors:
Developing Partnerships and
Leveraging
Resources
Learning Objectives:

1. Recognize the importance of
stakeholder engagement

2.Identify key stakeholders and
roles

3.Manage sustaining partnerships
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Know Your Neighbors:
Developing Partnerships and
Leveraging
Resources
Topics/Exercises:

1. Stakeholder engagement 101
2. Regenesis partnership case
study

22

Know Your Neighbors:
Developing Partnerships and
Leveraging
Speakers: Resources
1. Democracy Collaborative
2. University of Georgia
3.Proctor Creek Stewardship Council
4.Local NAACP Officer
5.Michael Burns, EPA CUPP Director
Homework:
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 Key stakeholder table

6. More Than A Little Change:
Identify Financial Resources and
Researching
Funding
Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a plan for financial
management

2. Identify ways to secure financial
resources

3. Search for grants and prepare a grant
application
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4. Create a budget

More Than A Little Change:
Identify Financial Resources and
Researching
Funding
Topics/Exercises:

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1. Defining financial management
2. Developing a realistic budget
3. Identifying financial sources
4. Defining the grant process
5. Financial sustainability

26

More Than A Little Change:
Identify Financial Resources and
Researching Funding
Speakers:
1. EPA Region 4, Grants
Management Office
2. Retired GA Office of Community
Engagement Commissioner
Homework:
 Piranha Bowl presentations

7. Taking Care of Business:
Sound Management and
Implementation
Learning Objectives:

1. Develop a concise and effective
pitch

2. Describe the importance of
sound management

3. Describe project management
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Taking Care of Business: Sound
Management and Implementation
Topics/Exercises:
1. Sound management
2. Project management
3. Documenting and communicating
progress

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4. Celebrating successes
5. Succession planning
6. Piranha bowl presentations

Taking Care of Business: Sound
Management and Implementation
Speakers:
1. EPA Region 4, Office of Policy and
Management
2.Panel of distinguished judges
3.Dr. Robert Bullard
4.Dr. Beverly Wright

Homework:
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 Sound management homework sheet

8. Bringing It All Together:
Evaluation and Lessons Learned

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand how to evaluate
programs

2. Understand data collection,
research methodology and tools
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Brining it All Together:
Evaluation and Lessons Learned

Topics/Exercises:
1. Citizen science
2. Program evaluation
3. Data collection tools and
techniques
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Bringing It All Together:
Evaluation and Lessons Learned

Speakers:
1. EPA Region 4, QA/QC Manager
2. Panel of distinguished judges
3.Office of Research and
Development Scientists

Homework:
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 Prepare portfolios

Benefits to Participants
 Interact directly with Senior Managers and

technical experts from EPA and other organizations

 Receive individualized technical assistance from
SKEO

 Establish partnerships with like-minded
organizations

 Compile a portfolio to promote their community
 Develop a 100-day Action Plan to address their
challenges

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Wrap-up and Lessons
Learned

 Evaluation after each module by

participants
 Team debrief meetings after each module
 Planning meeting for EJ Academy 2.0
 Start and end dates
 Focus group session
 More focused attention on completing
homework assignments
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Wrap-up and Lessons
Learned

 Vet participants better
 Need senior management support
 Funding (e.g, contractor, overtime,
supplies, speaker honoraria,
printing)

 Dedicated staff (not rotating)
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What are the participants
saying?

 Learned more about self through
the personality assessment and
DISC

 Learned about stakeholders roles
and positions of others in the
community

 Learned about funding tools and
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grantwriting

What are the participants
saying?

 Opportunity to apply lessons in

modules to assess community
needs, share information, and
learn/collaborate with classmates

 Expanded understanding of the full
range of EJ concerns

 Increase knowledge of tools such as
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EJSCREEN, appreciative inquiry,
and conflict resolution