Building Power in the Public Sector: DEI and Anti-Racism at Environmental Jobs in Government

Originally held on Monday, November 1, 2021 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Program Chair:
Bethany A. Davis Noll
Executive Director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, NYU School of Law

Opening Remarks:
Karl A. Racine
Washington D.C. Attorney General

  • The governmental and public sectors hold the promise of vibrant and meaningful careers in environmental law. An environmental law career can provide many opportunities to advocate for justice in the face of environmental degradation that often has inequitable impacts. However, the environmental legal sector, like the broader environmental movement, has enormous strides to make in increasing diversity and inclusion in workplace policies and procedures. In this panel, we will address what bureaus and agencies are doing to support diversity and inclusion and the path forward for the governmental and public sector in advancing equity. To discuss these questions, please join us to hear from professionals working on diversity, equity, and inclusion from within government agencies that focus on environmental law. This panel follows up on a three-part series held earlier this year, where panelists discussed their related efforts in the NGO and law firm sectors. The recording from the prior event is available here. The series overall was recently awarded the 2021 ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Award.

    Program Fee:
    $29 for Members | $79 for Nonmembers

    Members who are Recent Law Graduates, Newly Admitted Lawyers (admitted for the first time in any state or country 2019-2021), In-House/Corporate Counsel, Judges, and attorneys that practice within the Government, Academic or Not-for-Profit sectors attend this program for free.

  • Sandra Jefferson Grannum
    Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, New York State Office of the Attorney General

    Christophe Courchesne
    Deputy Chief, of the Energy and Environment Bureau, Massachusetts AG’s Office

    Lisa Garcia
    Director, Fix, the Climate Solutions Lab at Grist

    Tricia Jefferson
    Acting Deputy Associate General Counsel, Cross Cutting Issues Law Office, Office of General Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency

    Andres Jimenez
    Executive Director, Green 2.0

    Antonia Pereira
    Senior Counsel, Environmental Law Division, New York City Law Department

  • 1:00-1:05
    Introduction and Roadmap – Andres Jimenez

    Opening Remarks – Karl A. Racine, Washington D.C. Attorney General

    How Equity and Inclusion Can Be Implemented within an Organization

    Attorneys will learn about the ways that equity and inclusion can be implemented within an organization’s review process as well as in the substantive work of the agency. The discussion will address how implementing the city’s environmental justice priorities (which are discussed in two recently enacted city bills: Environmental Justice Policy Bill, Intro 886A and Environmental Justice Study Bill, Intro 359) has become part of the office’s work. Attorneys will also learn about the responsibilities of the lawyers within Corporation Counsel.

    Antonia Pereira

    Racial-Justice Work within the MA Attorney General’s Office
    Attorneys will learn about the office’s racial-justice work, growth in the environmental justice practice, and detailed information about the responsibilities of lawyers within the Attorney General’s Office.

    Christophe Courchesne

    Federal Administration’s Recent Executive Orders Regarding DEI

    Attorneys will learn about the federal administration’s recent executive orders directing agencies to focus on building diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the federal workplace and the lawsuit surrounding the Trump-era executive order banning diversity training.

    Tricia Jefferson

    Moderated Q&A Discussion

    -What is biggest challenge to your work in this area? Most useful tool?
    -What are the responsibilities of the jobs at the three levels and how are they tied to DEI?


    Closing Remarks – Bethany Davis Noll

  • New York: 1.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias
    New Jersey: 1.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias
    California: 1.0 Elimination of Bias
    Pennsylvania: 1.0 Professional Responsibility
    Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

    Newly admitted New York attorneys (attorneys admitted to the New York State Bar for two years or less) cannot earn CLE credit in the category of Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias.

  • Sponsoring Association Committee:
    Environmental Law, Bethany Davis Noll & L. Margaret Barry

    Co-Sponsoring Organizations:
    Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
    Green 2.0
    Institute for Policy Integrity
    Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
    State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law

    Co-Sponsoring Law School Student Groups:
    Columbia Environmental Law Society
    Columbia First Generation Professionals
    CUNY Environmental Justice Coalition
    Fordham’s Environmental Law Advocates
    NYU Law and Government Society
    Pace Environmental Law Society
    St. John’s Environmental Law Society

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Angie Avila, Manager, Membership Outreach and Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 |