East Bay Environmental Justice Forum
View the Recording!

East Bay Environmental Justice Forum

April 22, 2022 | 8:00-12:30pm PST
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Building Capacity and Community Investment Through Land Reuse

The East Bay Environmental Justice Forum has passed but you can view the recording of the live event on our CCLR YouTube Channel and follow along with the full slidedeck. Look for a follow up blog coming soon!

See full agenda here.

This Forum will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders to strengthen attendee’s knowledge of revitalizing brownfields in an environmental justice and equitable development framework. The Forum will focus on the historic industrial, residential, and commercial corridors of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and will help East Bay communities prepare for a large influx of federal and state funding for land use initiatives. The event is FREE and will be held in-person at the Freight and Salvage Theater, 2020 Allston Way, Downtown Berkeley, CA. 

Environmental and social justice can drive a successful brownfield project by integrating early engagement between property owners, developers, and the community. This tactic leads to better planned and more successful projects in the long-run. How can success be driven by an understanding of the local culture and character of the community? How can your organization identify and articulate how your project addresses equity, environmental justice, and public health? And how can you build an environmental justice framework for your brownfield project which is informed by local conditions, as well as the policies supported by your local municipality? 

Attendees will constructively engage with reuse practitioners and professionals through presentations and facilitated discussions on land use, health and wellness, funding sources, local culture, and housing policy relative to the beneficial reuse of brownfields. The Forum will:

  • Highlight local best practices and guidelines for equitable land reuse and share ways to integrate environmental justice principles into cities and counties’ land use policy framework.
  • Identify key local organizations and resources, allowing attendees to engage with fellow practitioners and regulators, form partnerships, and learn from one another.
  • Demonstrate how equitable redevelopment is integral to pillars of community health and wellbeing, economic development, housing affordability, and the availability and delivery of goods and services in the pandemic era.

Note: Proof of covid-19 vaccination is required upon entry, per our hosts, Freight and Salvage Theater. Masks must be worn at all times accept when eating, drinking, or presenting.


The Forum is part of CCLR’s 2022 SF East Bay Environmental Justice Initiative series, which will also include two free webinars and a publication on the topic. The CCLR East Bay Environmental Justice Initiative is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Groundwork USA, with funding support from Wells Fargo and Union Bank.


22 April

Registration and Light Breakfast


Welcome and Introductions


Kick-off Keynote

Mitchell Schwarzer, Professor of Urban Studies, California College of the Arts, author of the newly published book, "Hella Town, Oakland’s History of Development and Disruption".


EJ and the Built Environment “Transactions with a Twist”


Community Engagement Interactivity + Networking


Building Capacity, Resources and Funding for an Environmentally Just and Equitable Brownfield Projects


Closing Remarks


Martha Guzman

EPA Regional Administrator for the nation’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9)

Keynote - Mitchell Schwarzer

Professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture at California College of the Arts, San Francisco and Author of Hella Town: Oakland’s History of Development and Disruption

Trina Villanueva

Director, External Affairs Manager, Northern CA and the Central Valley, Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

David Ralston, PhD, MCP

Senior Policy Advisor, Planning and Climate Protection Division of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.


David’s work focuses on local health equity and environmental justice policy development – especially for industrial/transportation/residential interface zones – as well as the designing and implementing of co-beneficial community green infrastructure air pollution mitigation projects. David has also worked for 15-years at the local government level in land-use and redevelopment planning.

Margot Lederer

Senior Program Consultant, Center for Creative Land Recycling

Joanna Jansen

Principal, Placeworks

Marybelle Nzegwu Tobias

Principal-Founder, EJ Solutions

Sophie McGuinness

Senior Planner, Alameda County


Sophie joined the Planning Department in 2016 and works on policies and programs for the unincorporated communities of Alameda County including updates to the County General Plan to address environmental justice, climate action planning and climate adaptation and resilience, and development of the County’s commercial cannabis permitting program. Most recently, Sophie has been leading an update of the Ashland Cherryland Community Health and Wellness Element to become an Environmental Justice Element of the General Plan, compliant with SB1000. This project includes the involvement of a diverse range of community members, service providers, community-based organizations and County agencies and departments within unincorporated Alameda County.

Jody London

Sustainability Coordinator, County of Contra Costa, CA


Jody oversees implementation of the County’s Climate Action Plan and serves as staff to the Sustainability Committee of the Board of Supervisors and the Sustainability Commission, a citizen advisory board. Prior to joining Contra Costa County, Jody worked as a consultant to local governments and non-profit organizations on energy issues, in which role she helped form the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition and the Regional Energy Networks. Her experience includes six years on the staff of the California Public Utilities Commission, and working with the U.S. EPA in the Superfund program.

Jim Becker

President & CEO, Richmond Community Foundation

Heather Hood

VP, Northern California Market, Enterprise Community

Nova Blazej

Senior Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Southwest Region 9


Nova Blazej has over 20 years of experience in environmental planning and sustainable development at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco. As Project Manager with the EPA Brownfields Program, Nova works with communities to redevelop underutilized, contaminated properties. Nova also serves as the Land Revitalization Coordinator, incorporating equitable development and environmental justice into brownfields reuse. She received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from University of California, Berkeley and studied at the Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany.

Natalie Nava

Programs and Outreach Manager, Center for Creative Land Recycling

Ignacio Dayrit

Lead Programs Consultant, Center for Creative Land Recycling

Caroline Au

Senior Economic Development Analyst, East Bay EDA

Teron McGrew

Community Engagement Manager, West Oakland Environmental Indicators (WOEIP)

Ms. McGrew trained with Founder and Chairman, former United States Vice President, and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. She has mentored over 90 mentees into Climate Reality Leaders. Ms. McGrew led the Climate Justice Salon Series, and currently serves (2021-2022) as the first African-American CRBA Chapter Co-Chair. She is currently in the inaugural 2021-2023 Ripe for Creative Disruption EJ Fellowship at the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School, in New York, New York. Ms. McGrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavioral Science and a Master of Science in Urban and Community Development from the University of California Davis (UC Davis).

Alyson Greenlee

Senior Economic Development Analyst, East Bay EDA

Meghan Zapanta

Richmond Organizing Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Cliff Lau

Associate, Placeworks

Cliff has a wide range of urban design, community planning, and public engagement experience. He is particularly interested in environmental justice and community health issues, and his recent experience includes serving as key staff on the SB 1000 Implementation Toolkit. Cliff’s technical skills include graphic design, illustration, hand drawing, and GIS mapping. He has produced planning documents, design visualizations, maps, and design guidelines to envision community development projects and Specific Plans.

Brendon Norton

Planner, Placeworks

Brendan is currently serving as an on-site planner for the City of Stockton’s Planning & Engineering Division on behalf of PlaceWorks. As a former CivicSpark Fellow and intern for the County of San Luis Obispo, Brendan’s experience includes current and long-range planning, as well as facilitating workshop trainings on racial equity.


Freight and Salvage theater, 2020 Addison St, Berkeley California
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