Green Festival Speakers

Dr. Antwi Akom


Award winning educator, scholar and writer Akom
A Leading Expert on the Green Economy, Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), and Climate Change

Dr. Akom is a leading expert on the green economy, climate change, and educational equity. His research focuses on the links between race, environmental health, and educational equity in cities and schools; the role of the green economy in facilitating pathways out of poverty for vulnerable populations; and the role of local knowledge in the production of environmental health and educational equity. Professor Akom's research and practice works to build partnerships between local residents, schools and universities, environmental and educational experts, community based organizations, labor unions, green businesses, and city planners working together to generate policy and planning solutions that improve community health, economic mobility, and the pedagogies and practices of community leaders and decisionmakers.
Professor Akom is currently working with The California Endowment, and a number of nonprofit organizations, to conceptualize a set of Emerald city projects and develop a set of Green Health Equity indicators; all aimed at promoting human health, job creation, and environmental sustainability. He is also working with the Ella Baker Center, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the East Bay Green Corridor to create Green Education Technology (GET) academies that attract and engage students, especially lowincome students, students of color, and other vulnerable populations who have been marginalized by the educational system, for career pathways into existing and emerging green energy careers.

In 2009 Professor Akom cofounded the Environmental Sustainability Planning Network (ESPN) a national learning and climate change action network working to improve the lives of residents in seven cities across the United States. The project team, which includes the California Center for Civic Participation, the Youth Planners Network, the Lawrence Berkeley Hall of Science, and the Global Metropolitan Studies Initiative at U.C. Berkeley, are drafting local and regional climate action plans and policies aimed at significantly reducing carbon emissions, securing land tenure, and improving economic opportunities, infrastructure and improving environmental health. The team is also conducting a youth participatory action research project culminating in the production of an Environmental Justice Bill of Rights.

Professor Akom is a 2010 recipient of a RIMI Investigator Award in Health Disparities Research from the National Center on Minority and Health Disparities. He is currently coediting a book with Professor Jason Corburn from U.C. Berkeley's College of Environmental Design/City Planning entitled: Revolutionary Urbanism: Race, Climate Justice, and the Politics of Pollution in Cities and Schools, which explains the nature of climate change in urban communities in the Uni