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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FAMU Environmental Justice Symposium Nov.7-8, 2013

Beautiful Quilt Display at the FAMU Environmental Justice Symposium
     Thanks to an invitation from Professor Randall Abate and thanks to the work of volunteers Sarah Downs and Caroline St. Clair, the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilts were on display for the two days of the Florida A & M University Law School Fourth Annual Environmental Justice Symposium in downtown Orlando, FL November 7th and 8th. 

      The colorful Quilt display not only served as a bright welcome to the students, speakers, presenters and participants joining the symposium, but in addition it drew attention to the very real and on-going environmental justice community that lies just miles away from the city center and from the largest tourist destination in the world. 


     Former Lake Apopka farmworker, Betty Dubose, attended the Friday afternoon sessions of the Symposium and was able to speak from the heart about her personal life and experiences as a farmworker and the health impacts of pesticide exposure on her parents, herself, her children and other family members. Bringing home the reality of the previous presentations of the day’s sessions, Ms. Dubose testimony poignantly pointed out the everyday and very real impacts of toxic exposures on families and communities.

     The Symposium had a roster of excellent speakers and presenters from around the country and from the Environmental Protection Agency that spoke on a range of topics from EJ Challenges in Indigenous Communities, to topics of International Finance and Human Rights and the Environment. You can view the program here: http://law.famu.edu/download/file/Program2013a.pdf.

     While all the presentations and speakers were notable, two very special highlights of the event were the YouTube video created by Lindsay Harper about the Lake Apopka farmworker community. We are unbelievably grateful to Ms. Harper for her talent and heart that went into creating this piece that tells the story of the environment and the people at Lake Apopka. Check out her work here: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npkF0Z0c-9E.  The community thanks her!


     The other highlight was the very powerful performance by Climbing PoeTree. If you have never seen or heard them perform, give yourself a treat and check out their web site at http://www.climbingpoetree.com/live/.

 Thanks to everyone at FAMU Law School for all their hard work on this great Symposium!

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