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Welcome to Duke Earth Month 2023:

Taking Action for Environmental Justice!

March 22-April 22

It’s been eight months since the Environmental Justice Movement – birthed an hour from Duke’s campus – turned 40 years old. Eight months since our university, and the country, really reflected on the future of the movement and the interplay of justice, sustainability, and political and corporate actors.


In that time, the EPA established a new Department of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, cementing this topic in climate and environmental work for decades to come. World leaders came together at COP27, coming to a consensus on the need for equity and reparations in the distribution of climate impacts globally.


Now it is time to circle back to those reflections and expand on the ways that we as individuals, as a Duke community, and as members of this nation can continue to center environmental and climate justice.

Join us for a month of joviality, creativity, and actionability!

If you have questions about Earth Month 2023, contact Cameron Oglesby at

Women 2023

Women in Energy 2023

March 22 | 5:30-7:30pm EST | Fuqua School of Business

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As the energy industry wrestles with mandates to decarbonize, geopolitical turmoil, energy justice considerations, and workforce transitions, companies across the sector are thinking about how to engage the best and brightest minds on these topics while also creating a workforce that is more diverse and inclusive. During this conversation, we’ll talk with industry professionals who have several different vantage points on the sector. What have their career journeys been like? What is exciting and challenging about working in the energy sector? What skills should students and young professionals cultivate in order to be successful? And, what can executives of all genders do to encourage professional development and mentoring in the industry?

This event is open to guests of any gender, including Duke students, faculty, alumni, energy professionals, and students at other universities. Panelists to include:

  • Janesha Hassaram: Rate Analyst, ElectriCities of NC

  • Janine Holloway: Senior Asset Manager, Cypress Creek Renewables

  • Maggie Sasser: VP of Government & External Affairs, Pine Gate Renewables

  • (Moderator) Katie Kross: Managing Director, EDGE, Fuqua School of Business

**The Women in Energy event aims to highlight the perspectives of woman-identified and woman-aligned people in the energy sector.**

Contact Katie Kross at with questions.

Env Law



March 23 | 12:30-1:30pm EST | Duke Law School room 4045

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Join us for a conversation surrounding the hidden costs of electric vehicles and the environmental and ethical impacts of lithium mining for the purposes of electric car batteries. The panel will introduce issues with the exploitation of developing countries and the destruction of Indigenous lands before highlighting more sustainable and equitable mining processes. 

Food will be provided!

Contact Emma Shahabi at with questions.


Enviro-Art Gallery

April 1 | 4:00-8:00pm EST | Grainger Hall

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The Enviro-Art Gallery is a showcase of artwork designed to highlight the beauty and struggles of nature. It presents art as a call to action, working to connect people to places, ecosystems, and experiences of nature through engaging visual dialogues. We are so excited for our 7th annual event, this year in collaboration with the Duke Conservation Society!

Come see art centered around the theme Protecting Our Home, from artists across the Duke Community. Hear from keynote speaker Matthew Cicanese, listen to music from DJ Isaac, eat some yummy free food, and of course enjoy the art!

Contact Emily Nagamoto at and Gabriel Campos at with questions.

EJ Storytelling

Environmental Justice 

Storytelling for Impact

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April 4 | 1:00-4:30pm EST | Fuqua School of Business Geneen Auditorium

One of the greatest barriers to overcome in environmental justice communications and advocacy is learning how to effectively relay nuanced issues to any audience: the public, politicians, corporate actors, and academics. This day-long event series explores that intersection: How does one become an effective communicator? What are the modes available to young people to affect change through their voices and diverse media? By the end of the program, students will come away with a greater sense of the different ways of being a storyteller and how to be a more intentional journalist and communicator in the language you use and the stories you choose to elevate.

Programs to include: 

  • Keynote Address: Eileen Trần, Creative Director for Intersectional Environmentalist, one of the most prominent educational platforms seeking to diversify the environmental movement.

  • Panel Discussion: Environmental Journalism with The Uproot Project Steering Committee, a network dedicated to advancing the careers of journalists of color who’ve been historically underrepresented in environmental journalism, imbuing journalistic coverage with critical and fresh perspectives.

    • Rachel Ramirez – Climate Reporter for CNN 

    • Maya Kapoor – Science Writer and Director of the Journalism Minor at NC State University 

    • Melba Newsome – Independent North Carolina Environmental Justice Journalist

  • Workshop: Justice-Based Communications for Strategic Movement Building with the People's Climate Innovation Center. A storytelling, language, and movement-building workshop led by Radiah Shabazz, communications director for the People's Climate Innovation Center.

Participate in the full event and stay until the end for a chance to receive a signed copy of Leah Thomas's book "The Intersectional Environmentalist".

Food will be provided!

Contact Cameron Oglesby at with questions.

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Climate Justice

Climate Justice &

Indigenous Knowledge

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April 6 | 12:30-1:30pm EST | Duke Law School Room 4047

What does climate innovation look like? This panel discussion attempts to reconcile our current understanding of the climate crisis and sustainability work with the knowledge, practices, and nature-based solutions of Indigenous folks across the country. How can we combine traditional views of conservation and climate mitigation, with ancestral ways of knowing and acting in connection with the Earth? 

Panelists to include: 

  • Beth Roach Beth is the co-founder of the Alliance for Native Seedkeepers, the Tribal Council Vice Chairman for the Nottoway Tribe of Virginia, and a Public Fellow with the Coastal Futures Conservatory at UVA. She is also the Clean Water Program Director for the Sierra Club and the former chairperson for the Virginia Environmental Justice Council. She has extensive experience in conservation, organizing, and storytelling with a passion for rural and agricultural resilience building, particularly for Indigenous cultural preservation and food security.

  • Roderico Yol Diaz – Based between Guatemala and the U.S., Roderico is an Indigenous Maya Kaqchikel independent photojournalist and documentary videographer. He has with than 15 years of experience working as an independent photojournalist documenting the struggle of survivors to overcome the aftermath of war and genocide in Guatemala and communities affected by on-going extractive development projects.

  • Donna Chavis – Donna is a Lumbee elder with over 40 years of service in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors on the local, state, and national level and currently serves as Climate & Energy Justice Program Manager with Friends of the Earth U.S. She is a recognized leader in social and environmental justice change and practice. Donna 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. 

  • (Moderator) Lydia Jennings – Lydia is a presidential post-doctoral fellow in the school of sustainability at Arizona State University and the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment. 

Food will be provided!

Contact Gabriela Nagle Alverio at and Cameron Oglesby at with questions.


NAISA Powwow

April 8 | 12:00pm EST | Penn Pavilion

The Duke Native American / Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA) will hold its annual powwow on April 8th, 2023 from 12 PM to 5 PM at Duke University, West Campus in Penn Pavilion.

Join us for a day of celebration and reflection, honoring Natives communities at Duke and beyond!

Contact with questions. 

Earth & Policy

Energy & Environmental 

Justice Through Community-Ownership

Robert R. Wilson Distinguished Lecture | Earth and Policy Summit

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April 13 | 2:30-5:00pm EST | Sanford School of Public Policy

Through speeches from and discussions with some of the preeminent environmental justice advocates, lawyers, and policy champions in the U.S., this one-day event will explore the intersections of social policy, land use, energy justice, and environmental justice.


Join us for a deep-dive conversation with those working at the forefront of environmental justice policy advocacy in North Carolina and the U.S. 

  • [Keynote] Raya Salter "Climate Auntie" – Raya is the founder of the Energy Justice Law and Policy Center and a member of the NY Climate Action Council. She is on the Environmental Justice Advisory Board for the Coalition for Green Capital and has famously testified before Congress on the harm of the oil and gas industry.

  • [Fireside chat] Environment and Energy Justice in North Carolina – North Carolina natives, both with significant backgrounds and family legacies in the Civil Rights and Environmental Justice Movements, will sit down with environmental policy students to discuss the energy justice landscape and the ways they're pushing for community-owned solutions.

    • William Barber III – William is the founder and CEO of the Rural Beacon Initiative, a social enterprise located in his ancestral community of Piney Woods Free Union dedicated to building out renewable energy and regenerative agriculture hubs in underinvested communities across the U.S. South. William also serves as an Environmental Justice Advisory Board member for the Coalition for Green Capital and the Director of Climate and Environmental Justice for the Climate Reality Project.​

    • Angella Dunston – Angella Dunston grew up on the border of rural Warren County, North Carolina and Virginia. She began her training as a social justice advocate and environmental steward during the birth of the Environmental Justice Movement in Warren County. According to Dunston, her lived experience fueled her desire to continue to advocate against injustice and for impoverished and marginalized communities all across the country. She is currently on the Board of the League of Conservation Voters and works with the NC Rural Center, having over 20 years of experience in environmental justice, government relations, and social advocacy. 

A reception and student meeting with speakers will take place immediately following the events. Food will be provided!

Contact Cameron Oglesby at and Sarah Hay at with questions about the Environmental Justice events.


Watertowns Environmental Film Festival

April 14 & 15

Water Towns EFAF features films, conversations (in science, policy, and culture), and a commitment to our environmental behavior (your pledge). Recent and historical pieces of documentary film and artistic production under a selected environmental theme create a bridge between cultures of sustainability, disciplines, and situated forms of existence. The theme guides the principles of the festival but does not limit content or participation; Water Towns EFAF is an open platform.

Contact Miguel Rojas Sotelo at with questions.

'Plastic Earth' Film Screening

& Panel Discussion

Plastic Earth

April 20 | 5:00-9:00pm EST | Nasher Museum of Art

In celebration of Earth Day, the Nicholas School of the Environment presents a screening of the new documentary film, Plastic Earth (2023), written and directed by Janice Overbeck. Worldwide plastic production from fossil-based sources contributes to climate change and pollution while threatening the health of many species. The film follows a concerned mother's exploration of the plastics problem and possible solutions through interviews with scientists, engineers, researchers and innovators.

A panel discussion follows the screening, with:

  • Rachel Karasik – Senior Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability.

  • Michelle Nowlin – Clinical Professor of Law, Duke Law School; Professor of Environmental Sciences & Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment.

  • Janice Overbeck – Filmmaker; Plastic Earth, The Last Bumblebee.

  • Jason Somarelli – Assistant Professor in Medicine, School of Medicine; Assistant Professor of Marine Science & Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment.

  • (Moderator) Prasad Kasibhatla – Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Senior Associate Dean of Research and Doctoral Programs, Nicholas School of the Environment.

This event complements the Nasher exhibition Spirit in the Land.

Smell of Money

'The Smell of Money' Film Screening

April 20 | 6:00-9:00pm EST | Duke Law School Room 3041


What is the price some pay for the world's pork? ​The Smell of Money is a documentary that follows Elsie Herring and her rural North Carolina community as they take on the multibillion-dollar pork industry in a fight for their rights to clean air, pure water, and a life free from the stench of pig feces.

More information coming soon!

Contact Ryke Longest at with questions.

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EarthFest 2023: Accessibility and Sustainability

Featuring the Devil's Thrifthouse Pop-Up

April 21 | 12:00-4:00pm EST | Bryan Center Plaza

More information coming soon!

Contact Logan Evans at and Saisha Dhar at with questions about EarthFest. 

Contact Sophia Masciarelli at with questions about the Devil's Thrifthouse.

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Nicholas School Earth Day Celebration

April 21 | 12:00-4:00pm EST | LSRC Courtyard

Earth Day

More information coming soon!

Contact Alex Urbina at and Meech Carter at with questions about Earth Fest. 

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