Higher Ed Can Lead Climate Solutions
Last month, Clark Atlanta University president Dr. Carlton E. Brown met with other higher education leaders to launch Solution Generation, one component of our MomentUs initiative. Solution Generation provides a strong network, insightful research, and a variety of resources to help educators engage their students and communities in climate-change solutions. Dr. Brown sits on the Solution Generation Executive Committee.
In a recent op-ed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dr. Brown explains why colleges in the U.S. are especially well positioned to start conversations on climate change, and how Clark Atlanta is approaching their sustainability goals.
Carlton E. Brown, President of Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta
Higher education can lead by example on climate solutions.
I remember hearing the Rev. Joseph Lowery speak about environmental justice more than two decades ago and was inspired and energized by his passion for social and racial equality. It was this passion that motivated my work in environmental justice today. He and I formed a fast friendship on this and many other issues while I was president of Savannah State University.
That relationship has only grown and expanded since I became president of Clark Atlanta University in 2008. You see, the Joseph Echols Lowery Center for Justice and Human Rights is housed on and hosted by my campus. Clark Atlanta also houses the Center for Environmental Justice, conducting research over a couple of decades demonstrating the more intense effects of environmental issues on African-American and other communities of color:
• We are located in more brownfields than other populations.
• We live in areas most heavily impacted by pollution from trucks and automobiles, yet we own fewer vehicles.
• We live in food deserts where the quality of nutrition is least, the cost of good safe food is highest, and our capacity to afford or to find alternatives is least.