Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation (ACRE) which seeks to address the root causes of poverty through sustainable solutions. Specifically, her work at ACRE addresses the lack of sewage disposal infrastructure in Alabama’s rural Black Belt, where the legacy of racism and neglect stretches back to the time of slavery. She is the Rural Development Manager for the Equal Justice Initiative serving the citizens of Lowndes County, known for its long history of civil rights activism. Ms. Flowers is currently working with the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice to find solutions and policies to address the lack of wastewater infrastructure. 

Ms. Flowers is an internationally recognized advocate for the human right to water and sanitation and works to make the UN Sustainable Development Agenda accountable to front-line communities. She recently visited Standing Rock to demonstrate solidarity with the protestors. Ms. Flowers is also the Director of Eco-Ministry and Environmental Justice for the Center of Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, and participated in the launching of the New Poor People’s Campaign with Reverend William Barber and Repairers of the Breach.

 

Opportunities for Students and Faculty: 
Ms. Flowers’ residency at FHI is inspired by the legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin, who bridged the divide between academia and activism, and whose life is an example of how the humanities impact the world, and how the world can impact the humanities. With this in mind, students, staff, and faculty at Duke are invited to collaborate on projects with Ms. Flowers that advance ACRE’s goals, humanities research, and activism.

Duke students interested in getting involved with ACRE and learning about opportunities to conduct research are highly encouraged to meet with Ms. Flowers when she is on campus. Students pursuing the Human Rights Certificate can incorporate research in collaboration with ACRE towards the final research component of the capstone. Ms. Flowers will have regular office hours. To schedule a meeting, please contact emily.stewart@duke.edu 

To learn more about the DHRC@FHI and ACRE partnership visit: https://humanrights.fhi.duke.edu/environmental-justice/ 

Duke Today: From Lowndes County, A Connection between Environmental Activism and Civil Rights