UE Ethics Lecture to Discuss Ethics, Environmental Advocacy and Community Organizing

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The University of Evansville’s 10th annual William R. Connolly Ethics Lecture is planned for Monday, March 25. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:00 p.m. in Room 170 in the Schroeder School of Business Building. Rikki Parker, south coast project manager and legal analyst for the Coastal Conservation League, is the speaker.

Parker's topic will be “Boots on the Ground: Ethics, Environmental Advocacy and Community Organizing.”

During her lecture, Parker will tell the story of her road to environmental advocacy, making stops in the worlds of toxic tort litigation and political campaigns (and yoga). She will highlight two campaigns that she led, first describing her ongoing work with the Gullah community on Hilton Head Island to push back against a highway-widening project. This community is 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. Parker 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. 

Parker earned her BS in cognitive science from the University of Evansville. She earned her JD from Louisiana State University, where she served as president of the Trial Advocacy Board. After graduation, Parker 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, Parker 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.

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