William R. Connolly Ethics Lecture Series - Boots on the Ground: Ethics, Environmental Advocacy and Community Organizing
Rikki Parker, South Coast Project Manager and Legal Analyst for the Coastal Conservation League.
Rikki will tell the story of her winding road to environmental advocacy, making stops in the worlds of toxic tort litigation and political campaigns (and yoga!).
She will highlight two campaigns she led, first describing her ongoing work with the Gullah community on Hilton Head Island to push back against a highway-widening project. The community is rightfully concerned that roadway expansion will displace them from their generational homes and businesses. Hilton Head Island’s history is one of rampant development and explosive growth in the tourism industry at the expense of Gullah families and the natural environment. This pattern can only change through citizen engagement, political bravery and creative policy solutions.
She will close by sharing how a citizen-driven campaign to reduce plastic pollution culminated in implementation of South Carolina’s first ban on single use plastic bags.
Rikki was born and raised in Arthur, Illinois. In 2009 she graduated from the University of Evansville with a B.S. in cognitive science. Rikki earned her J.D. from Louisiana State University in 2013 where she served as president of the Trial Advocacy Board. After graduation, Rikki practiced in the areas of employment discrimination and environmental law. In 2015, she served as policy director to Scott Angelle’s campaign for Governor of Louisiana. In 2016, she joined the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, an environmental advocacy nonprofit where she works to protect local farms, prevent pollution from reaching South Carolina’s pristine waterways, and ensure all citizen have a say in how their communities look and feel.