125th Anniversary Symposium on Environmental Justice

Friday, October 28

How do we respond to the growing crises created by climate change and the degradation of our shared environment by pollution and its inequitable impacts on different communities? Should economic concerns prevail, or can ethics and a growing body of science be used to create more just, prudent, and responsible approaches?

Trinity’s Symposium on Environmental Justice addressed these and many other issues, and featured a keynote by Yale Professor Mary Evelyn Tucker ’71, and Dr. John Grim, co-founders of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, an invaluable advisor for Trinity as we build our Environmental Justice program.  Representatives from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Project made strong cases for immediate action, and student and faculty presentations explored the issues. Attendees also met with Trinity partners in environmental organizations.

Video of the Symposium

Click the bottom-right control on a playing video to enlarge.

Keynote: Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker & Dr. John Grim

Faculty Panel: Environmental Ethics and Policy Considerations

Teaching & Research Panel

Partnerships in Action Panel

Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker and Dr. John Grim
Co-Directors, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology

Dr. Tucker and Dr. Grim are visionaries who have reimagined how we think about the future of planet earth.  Through the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, they have brought together religion, science and the humanities into a coherent movement to consider the moral imperative of repairing our deteriorating environment.  With joint appointments at the Yale School of the Environment and Yale Divinity School, they created Journey of the Universe, an award-winning documentary and multi-media educational project about the relationship of humanity to the environment.

Mary Evelyn Tucker’s academic journey started at Trinity where she earned her B.A. in English and History in 1971, and membership in Phi Beta Kappa.  She then taught English in Japan at Trinity’s sister college, Notre Dame Seishin University.  Subsequently, she earned her M.A. in the History of Religions at Fordham, and her Ph.D. at Columbia.

John Grim earned his B.A. in Theology and History at St. John’s University in Minnesota, and then entered the master’s program in the History of Religions at Fordham where he also earned his Ph.D. with a special interest in indigenous traditions, particularly Native American religions.

They met during their graduate years at Fordham where both studied under the renowned scholar Thomas Berry.  They soon married and embarked on their remarkable careers.

Trinity is deeply grateful for their inspiration, guidance and generous support of the Environmental Studies program at Trinity.

Dr. Kandis Boyd
Director, Chesapeake Bay Program, Environmental Protection Agency

In June 2022, Dr. Kandis Boyd became the Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Dr. Boyd previously served as the Strategic Advisor for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Equity and Civil Rights, and before that she was the Deputy Division Director of the NSF Division of Grants and Agreements.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Meteorology from Iowa State University where she was the first Black woman in that program, and she went on to earn master’s degrees from Iowa State and George Washington Universities, and her Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University.

She has an impressive track record of achievement including numerous scholarly publications and a real commitment to mentoring students.  Her appointment received wide acclaim because of her reputation as a real champion for ensuring the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay.

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program coordinates activities and implements strategies for meeting the restoration goals of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which covers 64,000 square miles across New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Ms. Nancy Stoner
Executive Director, Potomac Riverkeepers Network

Nancy Stoner is president of Potomac Riverkeepers Network, a well known advocate for protecting the health of the Potomac River.  Previously, Ms. Stoner was the Water Program Director and Senior Fellow for the Pisces Foundation where she developed the foundation’s strategy to protect freshwater resources in the U.S.  A lawyer by background, Ms. Stoner previously worked in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and she later served as Acting Assistant Administrator for Water with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ms. Stoner graduated from the University of Virginia with her B.A. with Highest Distinction and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to earn her law degree at Yale.

Friday, October 28 – O’Connor Auditorium

8:30 am: Registration and hospitality

9:00 am: Welcome: President Patricia McGuire

9:30 am: Keynote: Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker ’71 and Dr. John Grim, Co-Founders, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology

Introduction:  SaAnkhessa Aakhuye Meskheniten ’24, Business Administration major and Environmental Justice minor

10:45 am: Faculty Panel: Environmental Ethics and Policy Considerations

  • Sr. Camilla Burns, SNDdeN, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies
    • Reflections on Laudato Si
  • Dr. Steven Gable, Associate Professor of Philosophy
    • Environmental Stewardship and the Common Good: A Philosophical Exploration of Pope Francis’s Integral Ecology
  • Dr. Shizuka Hsieh, Associate Professor of Chemistry
    • Case Studies on Environmental Advocacy in Washington, D.C.

12:00 pm: Lunch (Alumnae Hall) and campus walkabout with Dr. Patrice Nielson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

1:30 pm: Panel: Teaching and Research on Environmental Justice

Introductions:  Dr. Patrice Nielson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Remarks:  Dr. Diana Watts, Associate Professor of Business:  Developing Future Leaders for the Doughnut Economy

Moderator:  Gabrielle Clary ’18, Corporate Responsibility Consultant at the World Bank and co-founder of the DC Sustainable Fashion Collective

Student Presenters:

Celeste Iroha ’25, Health Services

Martha Rondon ’23, Biology

Jamileth Mendez ’23, Business Administration

Zaryah Salley ’23, Business Administration

Yesica Tumax ’24, Biochemistry

Lakshmi Mosquera-Herrera ’25, Global Affairs

3:00 pm: Partnerships in Action

Dr. Kandis Boyd, Director, EPA Chesapeake Program

Ms. Nancy Stoner, Exec. Director, Potomac Riverkeepers Network

Introduction: Annissa Young ’23, Business Administration

3 to 4:30 pm:  Environmental Fair with Partners Hosting Information Displays

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Program of the EPA

DC Cheers

Eco Latinos

Ecology Plus

Potomac Riverkeepers

Trinity Sustainability Club

Student Research Posters and Environmental Photography Exhibit

4:30 pm: Concluding Comments