Special Events

Keynote Speakers at AESS 2022

Monday Welcome and Keynote

Talk Title: TBD

Lois Gibbs is an environmental activist known for her work to relocate her community of more than 800 away from the Love Canal neighborhood, which was built next to a hazardous chemical site in Niagara Falls, NY. After that campaign, she founded the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, which focuses on grassroots efforts to make our communities healthy and safe.

Opening & Keynote - June 20, 9:00-10:00am

This event is included with AESS conference registration.

Tuesday Keynote

Talk Title: TBD

Destiny Watford is a storyteller and environmental justice activist. She was raised in Curtis Bay, a small community in Baltimore City with a long history of polluting industry poisoning community members. In high school, Watford co-created a campaign against the proposal for the nation’s largest trash burning incinerator, which was scheduled to be built less than a mile away from her high school. After several years of fighting, she won that battle and now dedicates her life to fighting intersectional injustice across the nation.

Opening & Keynote - June 21, 8:00-9:00am

This event is included with AESS conference registration.

Wednesday Keynote

Talk Title: TBD

Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis (they/she) is Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice at American Rivers, providing strategic leadership, guidance, and programming to the most trusted and influential river conservation organization in the United States. Dr. Mel also serves as a DEIJ Collaborator with The Art of Change Agency and Arts Editor of WSQ Journal published by City University of New York Feminist Press. Previously, Dr. Mel served as Associate Professor and Director of the Ecosystems, Sustainability, and Justice Program, Chair of the Humanistic Studies Department, and Co-Founder of The Space for Creative Black Imagination: An Interdisciplinary Research and Making Institute at Maryland Institute College of Art. They also served as Associate Professor and Director of the transdiciplinary Center for Geographies of Justice at Goucher College. Dr. Mel’s personal, professional, and political commitments are to overlapping and interlocking Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, and queer, trans, and feminist communities pursuing social and environmental justice. Originally from Bayou la Batre, Alabama, their creative work explores queer of color themes in rural coastal settings.

Opening & Keynote - June 22, 8:00-9:00am

This event is included with AESS conference registration.

Wednesday, Awards Reception

The Awards Reception is a long-standing AESS tradition. Award recipients will receive their physical award and be given the opportunity to share a speech. Traditionally, the Lifetime Achievement award winner ends the ceremony with a speech.

Make sure to submit nominations for AESS awards by March 28, 2022.

Awards Reception & Closing - June 22, 3:45-5:00pm

This event is included with AESS conference registration.