CHEF Webinar – September 9, 2022

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Building For Climate Justice: Safe & Healthful Transportation & Housing

In this webinar, entitled Building For Climate Justice: Safe and Healthful Transportation and Housing, Dr. Maria Cecilia Pinto deMoura, who is senior vehicles engineer in the Clean Transportation program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, will address the climate and health effects of transportation with a focus on how technologies aimed at decarbonizing transportation can be accessible to and benefit low-wealth communities and communities of color. Our second speaker, Ms. Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Executive Director of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), will further this discussion by addressing health and safety risks resulting from substandard housing and what PUSH Buffalo is doing to address these issues, and climate justice more broadly, in low-wealth communities.

Speaker Bio – Dr. Maria Cecilia Pinto deMoura
She conducts research on transportation energy and emissions, and performs analyses in support of regional and national policy campaigns that aim to reduce oil use and mitigate vehicle emissions. Dr. Pinto de Moura also works with the UCS Climate & Energy modeling team on national transportation energy and emissions modeling. Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Pinto de Moura served as a research associate for the Joint Global Change Research Institute/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she developed emissions and climate scenarios using integrated assessment models. Dr. Pinto de Moura also conducted research for the Center for Energy and Environmental Economics at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. She volunteered as an environmental advocate in Rio de Janeiro for over 10 years, saving green urban areas from deforestation.

Speaker Bio – Rahwa Ghirmatzion
For more than 15 years, Rahwa has worked with community-based organizations in Western New York that promote community development. In 2018, she became executive director of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), a community organization that works at the grassroots to create and implement a comprehensive revitalization plan for Buffalo’s West Side, with more than $40 million invested in affordable housing rehabilitation, weatherization and green infrastructure. In this role, Ghirmatzion oversees the organization’s programs and day-to-day operations, which have grown to include housing construction, weatherization, solar installation, job training, and a youth center, as well as outreach and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels on public policy issues facing urban communities. PUSH employs 40 people and has renovated more than one hundred high-quality homes over the past seven years. Ghirmatzion was the recipient of the 2017 Community Commitment Award from VOICE Buffalo and the 2013 Community Leaders Arts Award from the National Federation for Just Communities.

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