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2019 Visionary Leaders Awards

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Thursday, November 7, 2019
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
Washington, DC

Free event but reservations are required


Historically, those communities most impacted by climate disruption, armed conflict, and nuclear testing have had little power or control over the policies designed to address these problems. In recent years there has been growing interest, particularly among young people, in changing that, and in highlighting the human side of these issues within a larger social justice frame. This movement has been accompanied by a movement demanding greater inclusion of women and people of color at the highest leadership levels of NGOs and government offices working on these issues.

Led by a panel of expert women advocates, the discussion will focus on these issues specifically, and in general, examining the intersectionality between the climate movement and the nuclear weapons abolition movement.

Meet the panelists

Dr. Helen Caldicott (keynote speaker)

Dr. Caldicott, a prominent pediatrician, has devoted more than half of her life to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction. During her time living in the United States, she played a major role in reviving PSR as president (1978-1983), and is the founder of several organizations, both here and abroad, including WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions, formerly Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament).

Dr. Caldicott currently divides her time between her home in Australia and the U.S. and was named one of the most important women of the 20th century by Ladies’ Home Journal.

Dr. Heidi Hutner (moderator)
Sustainability, English, Gender Studies – Stony Brook University

Dr. Hutner is a professor, writer, filmmaker at Stony Brook University. Currently, she is making a film series about nuclear disasters, Accidents Can Happen, and writing a companion book, Radiophobia, A Nuclear Memoir. The film series and book are a feminist take on nuclear history and present. Hutner and her team are presently in production for the first film in the series, Accidents Can Happen: The Women of Three Mile Island.

She is an active public speaker on women, ecofeminism, and nuclear issues and she has published widely on women, the environment, and nuclear–in popular magazines, academic journals, and books. Hutner has a chapter coming out in a forthcoming book called, Fury, in which Dr. Helen Caldicott and a list of other women antinuclear activists are discussed. She has also written about women and Fukushima, women and nuclear weapons, women at Rocky Flats, and much more.

Lindsay Harper, MBA, MAE
Executive Director – Georgia WAND

Lindsay Harper is the executive director of Georgia WAND Education Fund, Inc, a grassroots, women-led, multiracial organization bridging the rural/urban divide and advancing environmental and climate justice, addressing outsized militarized spending, and ending systemic violence, especially in relation to the nuclear weapons and nuclear energy industries.

She is a native of Atlanta, GA, and a second-generation graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC. She holds degrees from Georgia State University and the Paris-Sorbonne University (dual), and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. She’s worked with In the Public Eye, Inc, WVEE V-103 in Atlanta, and Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters and been nominated for an Emmy®.

Harper has worked for several years to implement sustainability projects and programs that generate positive images of communities of color and empower the global community through education. She is deeply committed to the intersections of environmental health, racial justice, and peace and she uses her talents in service of the planet. Lindsay believes that economic empowerment through business education and community development is the strongest weapon to promote peace and combat the systematic damage war causes all of us.

Catherine Killough
Advocacy & Leadership Coordinator – Women Cross DMZ

Until recently, she was the Roger L. Hale Fellow at Ploughshares Fund, where she helped build and manage an advocacy coalition in support of US-North Korea diplomacy.

Killough’s work and commentary have appeared in national and international outlets, including the Washington Post, LA Times, Yonhap, Stars and Stripes, Newsweek, Al Jazeera, and Bustle. She has published in Foreign Policy, The National Interest, 38 North, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, and more.

Previously, Killough interned in the State Department’s Office of Korean Affairs and the National Committee on North Korea. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a BA in English Literature from the University of Arizona.

Jacqueline Patterson
Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program – NAACP

Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Patterson served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid where she integrated a women’s rights lens for the issues of food rights, macroeconomics, and climate change as well as the intersection of violence against women and HIV&AIDS. Previously, she served as Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health providing management and technical assistance to medical facilities and programs in 23 countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Patterson served as the Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies.

Patterson’s publications/articles include: ”Jobs vs Health: An Unnecessary Dilemma”, “Climate Change is a Civil Rights Issue”, “Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster: Gendered Layers of Impact”, “Disasters, Climate Change Uproot Women of Color”; “Coal Blooded; Putting Profits Before People”; “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution, Creating Jobs”: “And the People Shall Lead: Centralizing Frontline Community Leadership in the Movement Towards a Sustainable Planet”; and book chapter, “Equity in Disasters: Civil and Human Rights Challenges in the Context of Emergency Events” in the book Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster.

Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the International Committee of the US Social Forum, the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy and the US Climate Action Network.

Kelly Campbell
Executive Director – Oregon PSR

Kelly Campbell, Executive Director of Oregon PSR, brings more than twenty years of experience in peace, justice and environmental health organizing to her role as the Executive Director of Oregon PSR. Before joining Oregon PSR in 2009, She served as the Portland Area Peace Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee and was a founding Co-director of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization that has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Kelly served on the steering committee of the national coalition United for Peace and Justice and worked in the as Communications Director for Pesticide Action Network North America, and as Campaign Coordinator for the statewide coalition, Californians for Pesticide Reform.