Naolo Charles

Naolo Charles is the founder of the Black Environmental Initiative (BE Initiative). Holder of a master’s degree in environment, Naolo is a bilingual environmental communication and education specialist. During his master’s degree, Naolo studied the question of how governments and businesses can use the results of life cycle assessments (LCA) to communicate the environmental and social impacts of everyday products with environmental labeling. He was also one of the experts on the Thriving Natural Environment Advisory table brought together by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to develop Canada’s first national adaptation strategy. Naolo regularly offers training on environmental justice and anti-racism. He is a Black History life-long student and his work on environmental justice reflects it.

A first-generation immigrant in Canada, Naolo has created employment opportunities for dozens of Black and BIPOC youth in the environmental and social sectors and is committed to mentoring youth and supporting equity-deserving communities. He speaks at conferences, events, and to the media about environmental justice. Before starting BE Initiative and CCECJ, Naolo worked for over 10 years for various organizations including foundations, universities, governments, and start-ups.

Dr. Ingrid Waldron

Dr. Ingrid Waldron is Professor and HOPE Chair in Peace and Health in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program at McMaster University, the Founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project), and the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice (CCECJ).

Her research focuses on the health and mental health impacts of social inequalities and discrimination in Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities, including environmental racism and climate change inequities, mental illness, dementia, and COVID-19.

Her research and advocacy on mental illness experienced by Black women in the Halifax Regional Municipality played a significant role in the creation of the Sisterhood Initiative, a new health service for Black women. Her research and advocacy, as well as her book There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities and her 2020 Netflix documentary of the same name have played a pivotal role in creating awareness about and addressing environmental racism.

She co-developed with former politician Lenore Zann the first environmental racism private members bill in Nova Scotia and the first federal environmental racism private members’ bill. Dr. Waldron has received numerous awards for her research, book and community advocacy, including the Education and Thought Leadership Award from Clean50 for her ENRICH Project, the Leadership in Advocacy Award from Research Canada, the Society for Socialist Studies Errol Sharpe Book Prize for her book There’s Something in the Water:, the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing for her book, the President’s Research Excellence Award – Research Impact from Dalhousie University, and the Advocate of the Year Award from Springtide Collective.