The Ninth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference, co-hosted by The Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University and The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, culminated with more than 450 participants, including 19 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and 9 Predominately White Institutions (PWI). Generation Next brought in 35 elementary, middle, and high school students. These students were introduced to climate science and participated in interactive, computer simulations and engaging sessions surrounded around environmental justice principles and empowering them to make informed choices that contribute to a more sustainable future.
The Conference theme: Looking Back to Move Forward: Building a Climate Resilient Future for Vulnerable Communities, brought into focus the importance of collaboration and forging practical solutions in the face of climate change. Emphasis was also placed on community engagement, global climate issues, and bridging theory with reality. The Conference further provided a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing among faculty, students, researchers, climate professionals, and community residents impacted by climate change and toxic facilities.
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities in participation were Alabama A&M University, Dillard University, Florida A&M University (FAMU), Fort Valley State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Lincoln University, Morgan State University, Paul Quinn College, Prairie View A&M University, Savannah State University, Southern A&M University Baton Rouge, Spelman College, Tennessee State University, Texas Southern University, Tuskegee University, Virginia State University, West Virginia State University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
The Predominately White Institutions included Mount Holyoke College, North Carolina State University, University of Arizona, University of California-Irvine, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Wayne State University/Howard University Alumna, and Western Colorado University.
The Ninth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference encouraged education, understanding, and actionable strategies that would aid in tackling the complex issues associated with climate change. Moreover, the Conference organizers provided an excellent space for exposure and networking opportunities to lead to meaningful connections and change at the local, state, national, and global levels.