Creative Placemaking,
Black Restorative Ecologies,
and Black Spatial Futures

Weathering the Weather: Building Climate-Resilient Black Futures

Dontá Council and Danielle Stokes in Conversation with Michelle Dovil​

Wednesday, October 18 | 4:00pm
Arrupe Multipurpose Room

Decades of discriminatory housing and land use policies have rendered both urban and rural Black communities more vulnerable to environmental harms, increasing their health risks and inhibiting their financial sustainability. Climate-related threats and disasters have the potential to compound these vulnerabilities. Indeed, as flooding throughout the Southeastern United States due to rising sea levels demonstrates, they have already begun to do so.

How can–and must–mitigation for a changing climate also become an opportunity to address long standing disparities related to race and place? Join scholar-practitioners Dontá Council, Danielle Stokes, and Michelle Dovil for a conversation at the cutting edge of racial justice, environmental law and policy, and equitable community building. Centering Black and other historically marginalized communities, it will consider how they offer critical sites for the envisioning of just energy and environmental futures.

Speaker Bios

Dontá Council, Ph.D. is a dedicated public servant, author, and consultant with more than a decade of experience working at the intersections of nonprofit, government, and applied research. Dr. Council’s research and practice investigate and uplift barriers that historically marginalized communities face with disasters and climate change, particularly in coastal communities. In his current role at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he leads a research and community engagement portfolio that tackles economic challenges to building resilience for low wealth communities and communities of color across the southeast. Dr. Council is a native of Newport News, VA and currently a resident in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Danielle Stokes, J.D. is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law. She teaches and writes in the areas of property, environmental law, and environmental justice, with a focus on sustainability and equity in land use planning. Her scholarship on renewable energy and federalism has been published in the Minnesota Law Review. Her article “From Redlining to Greenlining” is forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review. Prior to joining academia, Stokes worked in land use and real estate law with McGuireWoods. A native of Martinsville, VA, she has made Richmond, VA her home.

Michelle Dovil, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor at Howard University in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. Dr. Dovil’s research interests are in disaster research, gender studies, and environmental inequality. She has worked on several projects both domestically and internationally in places that include Washington, DC; New Orleans, Louisiana; Norman, Oklahoma; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Sendai, Japan. Moreover, these projects have been centered on investigating the impact of climate change on coastal communities; inequalities of disasters; improving risk communication for vulnerable populations; examining the protective action and evacuation responses of disaster victims; as well as many other environmental inequality issues.

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