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William Barber III to speak on 'environmental injustice'

Environmental attorney William Barber III will speak on the social justice implications of climate change in a virtual presentation at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, entitled "Environmental Injustice: Race, Class & Climate Change." A Q & A period via Zoom will follow.

Sponsored by the Creation Care Alliance of WNC, MountainTrue, Conserving Carolina, Grace Lutheran Church Justice and Advocacy Ministry, First United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, First Congregational Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church and St. James Episcopal Church, the conversation will be offered in English via Zoom with an option for simultaneous Spanish translation. It will also be streamed at two in-person locations, the Contemporary First Missionary Baptist Church and Grace Lutheran Church.

Pre-registration is necessary for the free Zoom presentation. To sign up, visit and click on "Upcoming Events." Find the William J. Barber III program under “February Events”, then click to register. If you have difficulty registering, contact Sarah Ogletree at or 828-506-9467.

Barber grew up in eastern North Carolina, where, under the tutelage of his father, Bishop William J. Barber II, and mother, Rebecca Barber, he developed at an early age a deep commitment to social justice and environmental stewardship. He now works as an environmental and climate justice scholar, attorney and advocate, with nearly a decade of social justice organizing experience and deep academic training in both the science and the law behind environmental and climate issues.

He received his B.S. in Environmental Physics from North Carolina Central University and earned his juris doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, where he focused on environmental law and policy. He currently works as the Director of Climate and Environmental Justice at the Climate Reality Project, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. whose mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis. He also serves as a member of the Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality secretary and is co-chair for the North Carolina Poor People's Campaign Ecological Devastation Committee.