ATLANTA – The Student Conservation Association (SCA) will host its inaugural EmpowerHer Summit at the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance on Saturday, Aug. 5. The summit will celebrate the completion of the SCA’s first Black Women’s Conservation Crew summer of service and will feature guest speakers, food, workshops and more.
Speakers at the EmpowerHer Summit include educator Dr. Kimberly Johnson, clinical psychotherapist Charna Wilson and Entrepreneur Tracy Wright. The event will be catered by Stuffed Tastic, and include live entertainment from Atlanta singer Karimah Arnea and comedian Carlette Jennings.
The SCA has been connecting urban youth to nature for decades. With generous support from Comic Relief US, the SCA launched its first Black Women’s Conservation Crew for young adults in Atlanta this summer. This crew of 12 is a safe space for women of color to learn, grow, gain new technical skills and explore careers in environmental conservation.
“This was the best summer ever. The first day, I was shocked – It felt like a summer camp and not work,” exclaimed SCA crew member Sa’Mya Ivy, 22, who is a senior at the College of Coastal Georgia. “I am usually the only Black girl in my classes, and being here made it feel like I was home and in the right space. The summer is short, but the development is long.”
Crew members worked on an array of service projects, including invasive species removal, habitat restoration, litter abatement and trail work at various locations throughout the area, including the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Atlanta Botanical Garden.
“I am very grateful to be a part of a program like this. It’s necessary and so very much needed,” said SCA crew leader Kadeina Chandler. “It has helped them understand that it is a rare and unique find when you can be in a sacred space with people who look like you and where they can connect and love on each other without judgment.”
The SCA launched its first conservation program in Atlanta in 2021. Since then, more than 50 young people from Atlanta and the surrounding areas have participated in SCA programs. Thanks to local environmental organizations, schools, youth development organizations, and numerous community groups, the SCA continues to provide conservation opportunities for Atlanta youth each year.
WHAT: EmpowerHer Summit
WHEN: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5
WHERE: West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
1442 Richland Rd SW
Atlanta, GA 30310