Previous Keynote Speakers

 2021 Key Note – Collete Pichon Battle, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy

Colette is a generational native of Louisiana and is the founder and Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP), a non-profit public interest firm.  She is known for her work as a climate activist and a lawyer. In her role at GCCLP, she develops programming focused on Equitable Disaster Recovery, Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice and Energy Democracy.  In addition to developing these initiatives and programming that intersect race, systems of power, and ecology, she manages GCCLP’s legal services in immigration and disaster law. In the past, she worked with local communities, national funders and elected officials in the post-Katrina/post-BP disaster recovery, which earned her the U.S. Civilian Medal of Honor from Louisiana.

Further, she was a lead coordinator for Gulf South Rising 2015- a regional initiative exploring climate justice in the South, aimed at finding its intersections and roots. In 2019, Colette was named an Obama Fellow for her work with Black and Native communities on the frontline of climate change; in 2018 Colette was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from Kenyon College; in 2016 Colette was named a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity; and in 2015 she was selected as an Echoing Green Climate Fellow. Under Colette’s leadership, GCCLP co-chairs the national Water Equity and Climate Resilient Caucus with PolicyLink and anchors the five-state, multi issue initiative – Gulf South for a Green New Deal.