April 21, 20216:00 PM (ET)


Virtual Event, view on map


Erica MasinErica.Masin@Lung.org917-210-5647

Registration is now closed for this event. Please contact us if you would like the recording of the event.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021 the American Lung Association will host the next session of the virtual Tri-State Education and Engagement Series, “Climate Change, Clean Air and Your Lungs”.

Join us in our virtual book club discussion to hear from our esteemed panelists on the environmental challenges facing our community and how you can make a difference. Together our panel will use the book “No One is Too Small to Make A Difference” by Greta Thunberg to guide our discussion around environmental justice, transportation, public policy, and clean energy. Throughout the night there will be opportunities for you to have your questions answered by the panel.

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference” is a collection of Greta Thunberg’s speeches that have made history. You can purchase the book here or read some of her most famous speeches featured in the book here.

To register for this free event, please follow the Zoom link here. Use the passcode: CLIMATE

Meet Our Panelists:

Thomas Abdalla, P.E. LEED AP, ENV SP
is the Deputy Vice President and Chief Environmental Engineer for the MTA New York City Transit. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Responsible for providing expert environmental engineering services to MTA’s Construction and Development agency. He ensures that all design and construction projects meet all environmental requirements including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Thomas is a Professor in Columbia’s Sustainability Management (SUMA) program in the School of Professional Studies and a faculty advisor for the Capstone Workshop in the SUMA program. He is also the proud author of the book Sustainable Mass Transit: Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Public Transportation (2017 Elsevier).

Tom Matte
is currently a senior Adjunct Lecturer in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, a Senior Science Consultant for Environmental Health at Vital Strategies, a global public health NGO and was appointed in 2020 as a member of the New York City Panel on Climate Change. He holds a medical degree from Albany Medical College and a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, where he also completed a residency in Occupational Medicine.

Tom is an environmental epidemiologist and public health physician with more than 30 years of experience in public health and environmental health practice and research, domestically and internationally in government, academia and non-governmental organizations.

For several years up to 2016 he served as an Assistant Commissioner with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he led teams that launched new programs studying climate and air pollution exposures and health impacts among city residents and communities. The resulting evidence contributed to several NYC sustainability plans and supported regulations and programs like the phase out of the most polluting heating fuels, which helped cut sulfur dioxide pollution by nearly 70% in five years, Cool Neighborhoods NYC and the COVID-19 heat wave plan to protect vulnerable populations.

Melissa Miles (she/her)
is the Executive Director of New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, the only statewide organization dedicated to serving New Jersey’s Environmental Justice communities. Melissa began her career as a grassroots activist and community organizer while living in an Environmental Justice community in Newark, New Jersey.

“I wasn’t born, I was grown” is Melissa’s personal tagline and speaks to her entry into environmental justice advocacy. Melissa holds a MA in Anthropology from the New School, however, she is also adamant when it comes to solutions to the world’s current environmental crises. The best and most relevant solutions to come from communities and not from universities: “Those that are most affected, have the solutions” is the sentiment from which her advocacy stems.

She is part of several national coalitions including the Climate Justice Alliance, Moving Forward Network, The Coalition for Healthy Ports, and international coalitions such as The Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. She is also part of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Advisory Council responsible for advising state agencies including the Department of Environmental Protection on issues of Environmental Justice. Her “expertise” is rooted in her lived experience and her commitment to make sure that people at the frontlines are the protagonists in the struggle for their future.

Dwayne R. Norris
is the Co-Founder of Soulful Synergy LLC, a full service, minority owned socially conscious consulting company that takes a multifaceted approach to sustainability, workforce and community development.

Soulful Synergy is an innovative workforce development company specializing in certification and skills based training for new and incumbent workers. Soulful Synergy is working to transform disadvantaged communities and prepare their residents with the skills needed to become vibrant, healthier and more sustainable.

In September of 2020 they were honored for their work by Clean and Healthy New York with the “Bold Vision for Environmental Justice” award presented by world renowned environmental justice advocate and activist Cecil Corbin Mark. Soulful Synergy’s commitment to reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is central to their environmental justice work.

Dwayne is a proud Harlem Rotarian, a community activist and organizer who has spearhead successful initiatives and child literacy, education, hunger, homelessness, sustainability and economic empowerment, in order to better serve the need of underserved populations in and around NYC.

Dwayne’s approach to community development is that “a rising tide lifts all boats” and that we need to ensure everyone has equal access to opportunities for advancement.

Contact us anytime and check back often for updates on Tri-State Education and Engagement Series - Climate Change, Clean Air and Your Lungs!