Meet Philly’s New Environmental Justice Advisory Group


The rest of the committee

The remaining 14 members of the commission include lawyers, a doctor and a health worker turned activist. Here they are:

Mariel Diana Featherstone is a program assistant at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Radika Bhaskar is a professor of engineering at Thomas Jefferson University, where she partnered with the Office of Sustainability and the Philadelphia Water Department to measure the cooling effect of small urban green spaces.

Carlos Claussell works for the Global Institute for Sustainable Communities, where he supports community-led resilience work focused on advancing equity for communities of color. According to a biography on the institute’s website, Claussell has experience designing public transportation and water infrastructure projects in Philadelphia and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He worked on the City of Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters Plan in a role with The Nature Conservancy.

Su Ly works for the EPA, coordinating programs that help individuals, schools, local governments and businesses become more energy efficient or switch to renewable energy, according to a LinkedIn profile. Ly graduated from the University of Pennsylvania last year, where he studied air pollution levels in Philadelphia parks.

Joyce Lee is an architect and sustainable building design expert who founded the consulting firm IndigoJLD Green + Health. She has worked with the Queens Botanical Gardens, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Nahdir Austin is a chemical engineer in vaccine manufacturing for Merck and a graduate of Drexel University, according to a LinkedIn profile.

John Armstead is an adjunct professor at Villanova, according to a LinkedIn profile, and a retired director of the EPA’s Regional Lands and Chemicals Division.

Terrill Haigler, aka “Ya Fav Trashman,” hosted an MLK Day cleanup on North 17th Street in North Philadelphia in 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Caroline Mosley is executive director of the Eastwick United Community Development Corporation. She is a strong advocate for solutions to the chronic flooding her community has faced for decades, which climate change threatens to make worse. She presented her community with a bold plan to move residents most at risk from flooding to higher ground in the neighborhood.

Jerome Shabazz is director of the Overbrook Environmental Education Center, located on a former brownfield site in West Philly. The organization serves environmental justice communities in three separate ZIP codes and promotes smart growth and sustainable best practices for urban communities.

Ebony Griffin is an attorney at the Public Interest Law Center, where she supports historically disengaged low-income communities and communities of color advocating for sustainable neighborhoods. For years, she pushed the city to make surplus land more accessible to community groups and helped gardeners avoid displacement. Griffin’s organization helped set up an online resource to navigate the legal process to secure garden land in the city.

Kinteshia Scott is an attorney in the Energy Unit of Community Legal Services, where she helps low-income Philadelphians access affordable water, heat, and electricity through direct legal representation and policy advocacy.

Gabriella Gabriel Paez has spent years planting trees and training other tree advocates in English and Spanish through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tender program. Paez advised the city on the Philly Tree Plan, which aims to nearly eliminate the temperature difference between Philadelphia’s hottest neighborhoods and the city’s average and is slated for release early this year.

Paul Devine Botton is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a climate action advocate.

“While I despair of the impacts that climate change will have on my own and previous generations, I am particularly troubled thinking of our young people who may never experience a world that is not plagued by such chaos,” he wrote in an editorial. in The Philadelphia Inquirer last year. “The physical and mental health risks in our region from scorching heat, flooded sewers and smoke-tainted air from distant wildfires are manifold and daunting to consider.”

Terrill Haigler is a former professional dancer and sanitation worker who gained a viral following through his @_yafavtrashman Instagram account. He now advocates for improved working conditions for sanitation workers and an end to the illegal dumping of debris in Philadelphia neighborhoods.


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