Robert Wingfield

Robert C. Wingfield, Jr., PhD

Fisk University - (TN)

Fisk University Environmental Toxics Awareness and Sustainability Program

The goal of our Fisk Community Environmental Toxics Awareness and Sustainability Program is to increase community capacity to reduce resident exposure to environmental toxics, prepare them for environmental disasters and build healthy, sustainable and resilient communities. Hands on resident training focusing on active learning strategies is needed to educate residents regarding toxics, pollution prevention, climate change mitigation and adaption, and pandemic awareness and survival skills. This is important because residents of several communities suffer disproportionate exposure to toxics in many aspects of their lives coupled with disproportionate negative health outcomes. These communities are often the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. In our workshops we have emphasized the importance of using clean and sustainable energy and sustainable use of water and overall support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

I am currently serving as an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Fisk University, where I have been serving since 1985. I have over twenty-five years’ experience working with community leaders and residents of all ages to improve the quality of life in local and regional communities. This includes many disadvantaged neighborhoods and environmental justice communities.

I have over twelve years industrial experience in chemical process and product development. My many years of working with chemicals in both industry and academia have heightened my awareness of the importance of a knowledge of the hazards of the chemicals to which you are exposed. We have conducted on campus workshops to promote the safe storage, use and disposal of chemicals. We consistently utilize the proven principles of adult learning.

My community service includes:

  • Serving as an External Process Leader and Co-Chair of a statewide Steering Committee to develop an Environmental Justice Strategic Plan for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (1998-2000).
  • Service on the Healthy Nashville Leadership Council to help lead the city in establishing strategic priorities and mobilizing community initiatives to achieve significant improvements in the city’s health (2003-2013).
  • Served as Chair, Nashville Racial Health Disparities Coalition(2003-2004).
  • Since 2009, serving on the Compliance Advisory Panel to provide support to the TDEC Small Business Environmental Assistance Program.
  • Since 1999, serving as an appointed member of the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Wastewater Hearing Authority.
  • Since April 2006, serving as co-host on the WFSK, 88.1 FM, “Health Watch: Pathway to Better Health” weekly radio show.
  • Since February 2020, serving on the Climate and Energy Subcommittee of the Mayor of Nashville’s Sustainability Advisory Committee for the development of a Nashville Climate Action Plan.

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