The Human Face of Environmental Inequality

 SymposiumEviteFor Web

Locations: Benson Center 401 and all of the 4th Floor; Wait Chapel (VOT Lecture)

Sponsored by the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute, its affiliated Human Rights and Global Justice Research Group, and the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability.

Click here for Pre-Registration (encouraged but not required).

ROBINSON_3B20An opening evening Voices of Our Time talk will be given by Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In August 2014 she was appointed the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change.

The Closing Keynote will be given by Andrew C. Revkin, non-fiction, science and environmental writer, author of the “Dot Earth” blog at the New York Times, and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University.

Round Table Sessions will include special guests Joni Adamson, Sumudu Atapattu, Sally Bingham, Michael Gerrard, Larry Rasmussen, Bron Taylor, Jace Weaver, and more!

Human rights and the humanities are vital lenses for examining and addressing the unequal human impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and resource exploitation, as well as the values that shape our response to environmental challenges, and local and global forms of engagement. The symposium is inspired by and expands upon the work of John Knox, Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University School of Law and the first UN appointed Independent Expert on human rights and the environment. Knox’s three-year mandate has been to clarify human rights obligations relating to the environment, and to identify and disseminate best practices in the use of such obligations.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

1:00 PM (401 Benson Center)

2:00 PM (401 Benson Center)
Welcome by Rogan Kersh, Wake Forest University Provost and Professor of Politics & International Affairs
and Mary Foskett, Director of the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute and Wake Forest Kahle Professor of Religion

Opening Remarks by John Knox, Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law, Wake Forest University School of Law

2:45-4:00pm (401 Benson Center)
Round Table on Values, Morality, and Environmental Inequality
Moderator: Simeon Ilesanmi, Washington M. Wingate Professor of Religion, Wake Forest University
Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power & Light
Lucas Johnston, Assistant Professor of Religion and Ollen R. Nalley Faculty Fellow, Wake Forest University
Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
(Due to unforeseen circumstances, Stephanie Kaza was unable to participate.)

4:30-5:30pm (Magnolia Room, Reynolda Hall)

6:00 PM (Wait Chapel)
Voices of Our Time Keynote Address
Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Introduction of the Speaker by Nathan O. Hatch, President, Wake Forest University 

Friday, March 27, 2015
All events in 401 Benson Center


8:30 AM 
Coffee and Pastries

9:00-10:15 AM 
Round table on Climate Change and Environmental Inequality
Moderator: John Knox, Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
Sumudu Atapattu, Associate Director of the Global Legal Studies Center and Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School
Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University Law School
Bron Taylor
, Professor of Religion and Nature, University of Florida

10:15-10:30 AM

10:30-11:45 AM
Round table on Indigenous Peoples, Cultures, and the Impact of Resource Extraction
Moderator: Ulrike Wiethaus, Professor of Religion and American Ethnic Studies, Wake Forest University
Joni Adamson, Professor, English and Environmental Humanities; Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University
Luis E. Fernandez, Director of the Carnegie Amazon Mercury Ecosystem Project (CAMEP); Senior Research Associate in Anthropology, Stanford University; and Research Assistant Professor of Biology, Wake Forest University.
Jace Weaver, Director of the INAS; Franklin Professor of Native American Studies and Religion; and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Georgia
(Due to unforeseen circumstances, Jacob Olupona was unable to participate.)

12:00-1:00 PM 
Lunch Break

1:15-2:30 PM 
Round table on Community Engagement in North Carolina
: Richard Schneider, Associate Dean for International Affairs, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
Amy Adams, North Carolina Campaign Coordinator, Appalachian Voices
Molly Diggins, State Director, North Carolina Sierra Club
Frank Holleman, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
Will Scott, Yadkin Riverkeeper

2:30-2:45 PM

2:45 PM
Closing Keynote Address: “#IamChicoMendes – How the Global Communication Revolution Can Protect Resources and Rights”
Andrew C. Revkin, Writer and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Applied Environmental Studies, Pace University
Introduction of the Speaker by Justin Catanoso, Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of  Journalism, Wake Forest University

Parking Information

Parking will be available in Lot B. If Lot B is full, try Lots C, N, or M. You may park in any parking space marked “Faculty/Staff” for these two days without being ticketed (however, please do not park in handicapped spaces, spaces marked “Facilities” or “Service Vehicles” or spaces marked with “Towing Enforced” signs).










Area Restaurants

The following are restaurants on and close to campus you might consider visiting for lunch on Friday afternoon. Click on the links for more information including menus.

On campus

Benson Center Food Court
Bistro ’34
Einstein Bros. Bagels (Inside Farrell Hall)
Starbucks at Reynolds Library
Starbucks at North Dining Hall
Subway on the Quad

Near campus

The Village Tavern
Pane E Vino
Dioli’s Italian Market
Putters Patio and Grill
Red, Hot, and Blue
The Grille at Deacon Tower


Foothills Brewing
The Old Fourth Street Filling Station
Wen Hwa
Hutch & Harris
The Honey Pot
Sweet Potatoes
Downtown Thai
Jeffrey Adams on 4th
Camino Bakery
King’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar
Mooney’s Mediterranean Cafe