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Catherine Coleman Flowers

Founding Director, Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice; Board Member, The Climate Reality Project


(She/her) Catherine Coleman Flowers is an internationally recognized environmental activist, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, and author. She is the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice (CREEJ), and has spent her career promoting equal access to clean water, air, sanitation, and soil to reduce health and economic disparities in marginalized, rural communities. Flowers sits on the board of directors for The Climate Reality Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Geophysical Union, as well as serving as practitioner in residence at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. In 2021, her leadership and fervor in fighting for solutions to these issues led her to one of her most notable appointments yet — vice chair of the Biden Administration’s inaugural White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. As the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, Flowers shares her inspiring story of advocacy, from childhood to environmental justice champion. In the book, she discusses sanitation and its correlation with systemic class, racial, and geographic prejudice that affects people across the United States. She and her work have been profiled by CBS’s 60 Minutes, The New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Guardian, PBS Newshour and more.
Catherine Coleman Flowers