After graduating from North Carolina State University and Harvard Law School, I became a public defender in Florida and have continued in the field of public defense at a state agency. My work with poor people, especially those of color, has shown me how societal and policy decisions can and often do have an adverse impact on them. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in regard to the environment. Disadvantaged folks live downhill, downstream, and downwind in areas vulnerable to pollution and the consequences of rising temperatures. My concern for these communities, as well as our earth in general, has led me to take action.
Having grown up in Southeastern North Carolina, I am acutely aware of how bioemissions can make an area unlivable. From my time growing up and smelling the stench of a nearby pulp paper mill to holding my breath as I drive past an industrial hog facility on my way to and from my home town, I have a small idea of what it must be like to endure such burdens on a day-to-day basis. I believe that education, empathy, and a commitment to equity are key to bringing justice to the citizens of these communities and that change is possible if we all work together. My first step in that process will be to coordinate a webinar series for fall 2021 on the proposal to produce biogas from hog waste, with the goal of promoting understanding of the issue, the community’s concerns about it, possible solutions to it, and how people of faith can assist the community in its advocacy for the health and happiness of its citizens.
Contact Susan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Brooks is excited to begin working with NCIPL as she feels a calling to be more involved in environmental, particularly environmental justice, issues. Susan has served at the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) in various capacities since 2003. Susan graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina State University in 1990 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Political Science. Upon graduation from Harvard Law School in 1994, Susan worked for the public defender office in Jacksonville, Florida and then at a couple of private civil practice law firms in North Carolina before joining IDS, where she seeks to assure that attorneys appointed to represent poor people in the state have the resources, training, and support they need to best serve their clients. Susan is active at Benson Memorial United Methodist Church in Raleigh, where she serves as lay leader and vice-chair of the Church & Society Committee, promoting awareness and education within the congregation and the community on issues such as climate change, ecology, racism, homophobia, poverty, and other societal concerns. Susan lives with a handsome tabby cat named Gadget.