Thanks for joining us for Facing Race 2022. See you in 2024!

April Brown

Interim Director of the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee of Providence |

April Brown is an educator, artist, ordained minister, and Interim Director of the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee (REJC) of Providence living in Providence, RI. The REFC is a collaborative initiative by the City of Providence and its frontline, communities of color to bring a racial equity lens to the City’s sustainability agenda. The REJC developed the Just Providence Framework, the City’s climate justice plan, and implementation of the City’s Green Justice Zones. Ms. Brown holds a Bachelors of Arts (BA) degree from the American University, in Washington, DC, and a Master’s in Education from the University of Rhode Island. 

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Paving the Path towards Justice: Implementing more Equitable Infrastructure Investment

The Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing racial equity and addressing the climate change crisis through executive order, equity action plan, Justice40 initiative, and magnitude of recent federal funding represents a major catalytic moment for communities of color. This session will focus on how a transformative justice framework can be applied to dismantle structural racism, strengthen accountability practices, and address the way public infrastructure investment has been historically used to harm communities of color and low-wealth communities. Panelists will highlight emerging practices, programs, and initiatives that support community-driven solutions, foster institutional change, and support more equitable outcomes in public investment.

Breakout Session Long Description (250 words)*

The Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing racial equity and addressing the climate change crisis through executive order, equity action plan, Justice40 initiative, and magnitude of recent federal funding represents a major catalytic moment for communities of color.

The passage of the historic $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal presents a once-in-a-generation investment to embed community-led solutions, equity, and climate priorities in our Nation’s infrastructure. The infrastructure funding combined with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the broader flexibility guidance granted for the $1.9 trillion stimulus package, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) becomes one of the most significant federal investments to U.S. cities, states, and tribal lands. The magnitude of funds and incentives, if implemented equitably, could transform the role public infrastructure plays in shaping just and thriving communities.

This interactive practical session will focus on how to unlock these federal resources using a transformative justice framework to dismantle structural racism, strengthen accountability practices, and address the way public infrastructure investment has been historically used to harm communities of color and low-wealth communities. Panelists will highlight emerging practices, programs, and initiatives that support community-driven solutions, foster institutional change, and support more equitable outcomes in public investment.

Moderator(s): Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins Speakers: Christopher Coes, Christina Cummings, April Brown