This week’s climate equity advocate is Sheri Smith, Ph.D., interim chair of the department of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University, a historically Black university in south Texas.
As an educator, Smith encourages young minds to think critically about the issues facing communities, while also nurturing their overall professional development.
Smith and students from Texas Southern University partner with the Institute for Sustainable Communities on the Institute’s Upper Texas Gulf Coast Regional Resilience Initiative. The project began as a response to Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Texas Gulf Coast and has worked to foster equitable recovery and resilience for all residents in the area.
Along with her team, Smith brings racial equity acumen and research as part of the initiative’s leadership team, which also includes the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience.
Smith is also an associate professor at Texas Southern University. She teaches courses in urban theory, housing and community development, infrastructure and applied methods. She has also been a planner for more than 30 years. In addition, she worked with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. before moving to regional planning in northeast Oklahoma. Smith has a commitment to applied research and, over the past several years, worked with communities to identify areas of housing need in smaller communities around Houston.
Continue to stay tuned this month as we highlight Black climate advocates working to champion sustainability for all. And, for more updates on what’s happening at the Institute, subscribe to our newsletter, The Climate Justice Bulletin.