Kristina J. Peterson, facilitator-director of the Lowlander Center in Gray, Louisiana, will present “Climate Displacement: A Second Chance to Get it Right,” a public discussion on Tuesday, March 26 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at S131 Integrated Learning Center.
Peterson will discuss her belief that climate displacement might create an opportunity to change the course on economic inequality and urban planning; that the displacement of populations – be it from small towns, tribes or communities within cities – does not have to follow traditional models of urban renewal and gentrification. Communities have an opportunity to take control of what their future can be and dream big, she says, not replicating inequities of resources, injustices of services or diminished qualities that contribute to ill health and well-being. She will explain how the lessons learned from civil rights, disaster mitigation and green sustainable practices can blend into a vision of a society of justice and well-being for all its members.
Peterson conducts research with community members on historic and contemporary efforts of successful community resilience, and facilitates participation and discourse on coastal issues with and for traditional and indigenous high-risk coastal communities in Southeast Louisiana. She previously coordinated a N.O.A.A. resiliency project in the Jean Lafitte region and was project coordinator of a grassroots planning engagement effort in Plaquemines Parish funded through the Greater New Orleans Foundation targeting traditionally excluded populations. Her current work includes the radical adaptation needed in the climate crisis, focusing on the resettlement vision of the Isle de Jean Charles tribe and ensuring that the community is in control of its own vision. Her work also includes the development of Louisiana Universities Resilient Architectural Consortium (LURAC) to help students learn broad measures of mitigation and inclusion for a more resilient Louisiana. By partnering with other organizations, Lowlander has become a leading organization addressing displacement, relocation and resettlement issues.
Sponsors of the event include the departments of history, anthropology, political science, resource economics, environmental conservation, and women, gender, sexuality studies, the School of Public Policy, the School of Earth and Sustainability and the Institute for Diversity Sciences research group on climate change, diversity and disparity.