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Racial Equity, Social Justice & Sustainability

November 18 & 19 at 6pm

2020 has been a challenging year. While racial inequities and the need for social justice appear to be borderless, Covid-19 has awakened us as a society to the importance of understanding geography. In the midst of a pandemic and racial injustices, the world is more digitally interconnected than ever. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enables us to have a better understanding of the spreading of the virus and its socio-economic effects on global sustainability and vulnerable populations who are grappling with systemic racism. Join us on November 18th and 19th as speakers from across the country share how GIS tools are being used to combat the pandemic and racial injustice.

A geographic information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing and analyzing data. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data. It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualization using maps and 3D scenes. With this unique capability, GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations – helping users make smarter decisions.

For more info, please visit ESRI.


​November 18, 2020

  • 6:00pm: Welcome Remarks

  • 6:20pm: Jeffrey D. Sachs - SDGs as a Contributor to Racial Justice and Reformation of Transformative Policies

  • 6:55pm: CSI Students’ Presentations

  • 7:00pm: Este Geraghty - GIS to Address Today’s Public Health Challenges

​November 19, 2020

  • 6:00pm: Welcome Remarks

  • 6:05pm: Verónica N. Vélez - Critical Race Spatial Analysis: GIS as Community-Based and Anti-Racist Praxis

  • 6:30pm: Jonathan R. Peters - Social Justice Issues in Transportation: Examples from New York City

  • 6:55pm: CSI Students’ Presentations

  • 7:00pm: Christen McNamara Watts - Mapping Racial Equity in Asheville

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Jeffrey D. Sachs
Director, Center for
Sustainable Development
Columbia University



Guest Speakers


William J. Fritz


College of Staten Island

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Este Geraghty
Chief Medical Officer


Verónica N. Vélez
Founding Director, Education
and Social Justice Minor
Western Washington University


Jonathan R. Peters
Professor of Finance
and Data Analytics
College of Staten Island

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Christen McNamara Watts
GIS Manager
City of Asheville, NC

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