Panel External Event

Climate Change at Home: Adaptation, Resilience and Social Equity


Charles D. Ellison
Managing Editor,
Jeanne Herb
Climate Researcher, Rutgers University
Tanya Seaman
Climate Activist


Susan Phillips
Energy Reporter, StateImpact PA


Energy Forum at the Kleinman Center
220 S. 34th St.
Fisher Fine Arts Building, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Event Summary

Recent reports from the United Nations have sent dire warnings about future climate scenarios if global carbon emissions remain unchecked. In our own backyard, predictions for the Delaware Valley and South Jersey include increased precipitation, rising temperatures and more devastating storms.

Join StateImpact Pennsylvania and WHYY in a local discussion about the intersection of environmental justice, social equity and climate change as we explore what the potential damage to infrastructure, agriculture and the environment could mean for the public — especially among vulnerable communities.

This was the second of two events at the Kleinman Center on 9/12. At 4:30pm, Vox’s Dave Roberts led a conversation with long-time climate activist Rafe Pomerance, exploring where we’ve been and where we’re going with our national climate action efforts.

Learn more and watch the recording here.

Jeanne Herb is the Executive Director of the Environmental Analysis & Communications Group, a center of research and practice at the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.  Jeanne leads applied research and demonstration projects on topics related to environmental planning, climate change, oceans and coastal management, and Health in All Policies. She co-facilitates several multi-sector collaborative initiatives including the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance, the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, and the Planning Healthy Communities Initiative. Jeanne also serves on the leadership team for the Rutgers Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Initiative. Prior to joining Rutgers in 2010, Jeanne spent more than 20 years in state government in New Jersey, most recently as the Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Science at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. She is currently completing the three-year Rutgers Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leadership program.   

Tanya Seaman earned her master’s in City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, with an emphasis on public transit and active transportation. Soon afterward, she co-founded and directed the award-winning nonprofit PhillyCarShare, which became the largest nonprofit car-sharing organization in North America: it enabled 50,000 residents to give up or forego car ownership and saved the City of Philadelphia over $8 million, with 330 fewer vehicles in its fleet. Tanya plays an active role in her neighborhood, currently serving as chair of SOSNA’s 

Vision Zero Committee, and works as an analyst in the freight-rail industry. In advance of the City Council primaries earlier this year, Tanya co-authored a climate action platform, which details how the city can make systemic changes to reduce its carbon emissions and lessen the impacts of climate change. 

Charles  D.  Ellison is Managing Editor of, a publication covering the intersection of the environment, race and income, and he is Executive Producer & Host of Reality Check, a daily public affairs program on WURD (96.1FM / 900AM / in Philadelphia). He’s an award-winning thought leader, political strategist, commentator and advocacy expert with nearly two decades of applied expertise in the arena of politics, public policy, campaigns and elections, crisis management and emerging/digital media strategy.   

He’s also a Contributing Editor for The Philadelphia Citizen, and weekly Wednesday co-host on the nationally syndicated Keeping it Real w/ Rev. Al Sharpton. His writings have been frequently featured in major publications such as The Philadelphia Tribune,, The Forward, Politico, Pacific Standard, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post and others. He is a regular analyst for numerous major metropolitan media outlets including WVON-AM (Chicago), WHUR-FM (Washington, D.C.), KSRO-AM (California) and KDKA (Pittsburgh). He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, FOX, CBS’ Face the Nation, SkyTV and elsewhere. 

Susan Phillips (moderator) tells stories about the consequences of political decisions on people’s everyday lives. She has worked as a reporter for WHYY since 2004. Susan’s coverage of the 2008 presidential election resulted in a story on the front page of the New York Times. In 2010 she traveled to Haiti to cover the earthquake. That same year, she produced an award-winning series on Pennsylvania’s natural gas rush called “The Shale Game.” She received a 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award for her work covering natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. She has also won several Edward R. Murrow awards for her work with StateImpact Pennsylvania. In 2013-14 she spent a year at MIT as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow. She has also been a Metcalf Fellow, an MBL Logan Science Journalism Fellow and has reported from Marrakech on the 2016 climate talks as an International Reporting Project Fellow. A graduate of Columbia School of Journalism, she earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from George Washington University.