NAACP Holds ‘Training of Trainers’ on Climate Change Sea Rise Challenges

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Gulf Region) and The Education, Economic, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (A coalition of a dozen plus frontline community groups in the Gulf Region) sent out invitations to Gulf Coast organizations to participate in the “Sunshine After the Storm: The 10th Anniversary Katrina Commemoration Summit from August 21st-26th in Gulfport, Mississippi”. The training was organized and facilitated by Jackie Patterson, the NAACP National Director of Environment and Climate Change based at the NAACP’s office in Baltimore, Maryland.

The theme is “Sunshine After the Storm”, honoring our collective leadership and charting a Just Transition to a Thriving Gulf for ALL. The Katrina Anniversary events will include a Clergy Climate Change Training in partnership with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project; A Sea Level Rise Training and Summit, In partnership with NOAA and Climate Central, a Gulf Leadership Appreciation Sunday, a Gender Justice/U.S. Women’s Equality Day Summit, two Human Rights Tribunals and a truth circle to reflect on the past, and multiple topical strategy sessions to plan for the future.

Lewis Jennings, the Florida State Conference Environmental Justice State Coordinator, and Pensacola Branch representative, Dr. Calvin Avant, represented Florida at the training. The participants were presented with new software products from Climate Central, and NOAA’s powerful sea level rise tools.

The participants evaluated the software products presented and shared their thoughts, stories, and questions to understand the social vulnerabilities of minority, low income, and underserved populations.   Jackie Patterson accepted the participants desire to keep the climate change dialogue moving forward. They adopted a resolution which was made by the group to keep the training contingent together and expand its number in all five Gulf Coast States.   Patterson said that she is looking forward to hearing how the Gulf States keep the momentum going coming out of this training!

Below is a list of attendees and their emails (if provided) by state.


Dr. Calvin Avant (Pensacola, FL)

Lewis Jennings (Fort Walton Beach, FL)


Jacqueline Smith (Houston, TX)


Danielle Bates (Gulfport, MS)

Ruth Story (Gulfport, MS)

Jackie Breland (Gulfport, MS)

Mattie Jordan (Gulfport, MS)

David Egland (Gulfport, MS)

JoAnn Fields (Gulfport, MS)

John Johnson (Gulfport, MS)

James Johnson (Biloxi, MS)


Damon Wickware (Fairhope, AL Baldwin County)

David Smith (Mobile, AL)

Lizzetta McConnell (Mobile, AL)

Dan Rizza (Climate Central)

Marian Hanisko (NOAA)

Andrew Schwartz (Portland, OR) (Climate Reality)

Tina Johnson (Energy Action Coalition)

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