CUER Hosts Multigenerational Environmental Conference

On June 6, 2013, CUNY School of Law’s Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) is hosting “Act Now: Environmental Activism Conference,” a conference for both youth and adults to connect with climate and environmental activists, leading environmental regulators, and educators to learn and take action. Participants will learn how law shapes the possibilities and limitations for environmental activism.

The conference will include a presentation on the science and facts of climate change, youth-led workshops on a campaign to get more green roofs on schools, hands-on workshops on planting and composting, musical and cultural performances, and more. Presenters include:

  • Professor Rebecca Bratspies, founder and director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform, CUNY School of Law
  • Kizzy Charles-Guzman, director of the Climate Change and Public Health Program, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Lonna Dawson, Alliance for Climate Education
  • Charlie La Greca, illustrator and co-author of environmental justice comic book Mayah’s Lot
  • Joseph Siegel, senior environmental attorney & chair of the climate change workgroup, Environmental Protection Agency Region 2
  • Representatives from City Growers and Global Kids

Organizers of the conference aim to teach participants about the law and its impact on making tangible environmental change in their communities. They also aim to help participants learn how to advocate and work on behalf of future generations to protect their communities and environment.

“It’s called intergenerational equity,” said Bratspies. “The way we live and policies we create have an impact on all of us right now. But what we do today will have an even greater impact on the lives and well-being of our children and future generations. We need to build a cadre of future community leaders ready and able to participate in the decision-making process.”

The conference is cohosted by the Alliance for Climate Education, Global Kids, and City Growers and is funded in part by the North Star Fund’s Greening Western Queens Fund.

CUER promotes environmental democracy as a critical aspect of social justice. It seeks to expand participation in public decision-making and to increase transparency and overall access to information to enhance both the legitimacy of environmental decision-making processes and the fairness of decisions reached.


Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. The school trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities. A greater percentage of graduates from CUNY Law choose careers in public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation. PreLaw magazine ranks CUNY Law as the #1 law school in the nation for public interest, and National Jurist ranks the Law School second in the nation for diversity. U.S. News & World Report ranks CUNY fourth in the nation for “Best Clinical Programs,” and the Princeton Review ranks CUNY Law in the top ten in the nation for “Best Law Professors.” The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has praised CUNY Law School for being one of the few law schools in the country to prepare students for practice through integrated instruction in theory, skills, and ethics.