APRIL 9, 2020

UNC Charlotte

Center City

Clean Air Carolina’s annual NC BREATHE Conference provides an interactive forum for North Carolinians to share the latest research related to the impacts air pollution has on human health, the environment, and the economy, and to discuss the critical role policy making plays.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Clean Air Carolina has decided to be cautious, follow the lead of others and cancel the 2020 NC BREATHE conference. We are considering whether to reschedule it for later in the year or to move this year’s theme to next year. We plan to discuss this more over the next couple of weeks and will let you know. All registration and exhibitor fees will be refunded.

We encourage everyone to take safety precautions such as washing your hands, keeping your distance from sick individuals and considering social distancing. Please go to the NC DHHS COVID-19 website for more information on the pandemic. Thank you for your understanding.


William Barber III, J.D.

The Climate Reality Project

William J. Barber III is the Strategic Partnerships Associate at the Climate Reality Project. He also serves as a member of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board, as well as co-chair for the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Ecological Devastation committee. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where he earned his juris doctorate. He is heavily interested in environmental policy, having completed work with several environmental advocacy groups, including the UNC Law Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics; Clean Water for North Carolina; and Clean Energy Works. Barber has several years of experience in grassroots and community organizing, working as a field secretary for the North Carolina NAACP for two years. Barber attended college at North Carolina Central University, where he completed an undergraduate degree in environmental physics. His present works focuses on understanding the climate crisis and how it interacts with existing social inequities. He is interested in the renewable energy field, specifically in initiatives that are being taken to promote opportunity for low income communities and communities of color.


Marilynn Marsh-Robinson

Environmental Defense Fund

Marilynn Marsh-Robinson is the Partnerships and Alliances Manager of the Climate and Energy Programs at the Environmental Defense Fund in Raleigh. She joined the organization in 1999. Marsh-Robinson works with partners to develop holistic, sustainable energy solutions that incorporate socioeconomic factors. Currently, she collaborates with electric cooperatives, transit agencies, local governments and faith-based partners on electrification and energy efficiency efforts. Marsh-Robinson also has experience with environmental justice and equity issues. She serves on the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board and is a member of the planning committee of North Carolina Environmental Justice Network. She previously served on the North Carolina Conservation Network board.

Health: Identifying Climate Vulnerable Populations in Eastern North Carolina

Gregory Kearney, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

East Carolina University

Gregory Kearney is an eastern North Carolinian native and a graduate of East Carolina University. He holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) from The University of South Florida and a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Prior to joining ECU in 2011, Kearney worked for the Martin County Health Department, the State of Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta, Georgia. He has received several awards including the CDC Environmental Public Health Emerging Leaders award, NC Asthma Champion Award, and the State of Florida, Senator Ken Pruitt Medallion of Excellence for his contributions to environmental public health.

Kearney’s research interests include environmental public health issues affecting rural and underserved populations.

Viney Aneja, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

NC State University

Gerald Babao

Director of Operations

Clean Air Carolina

June Blotnick, M.Ed.

Executive Director

Clean Air Carolina

Candace Cahoon, B.S.A.S., R.R.T., R.C.P.

Program Coordinator/RT Case Manager

Vidant Health

Jamie Cole, J.D.

Policy Manager, Environmental Justice, Air & Materials

NC Conservation Network

Dan Costa, Sc.D.

National Program Director for Air, Climate & Energy (retired)

U.S. E.P.A.


Director for the Academy of Population Health Innovation, Professor

UNC Charlotte

Andrew Harver, Ph.D.

Professor of Public Health Sciences

UNC Charlotte

Beth Hassett-Sipple, M.S.P.H.

Science Associate, Air, Climate, & Energy Research Program

U.S. E.P.A.

Stephen Keener, M.D.

Public Health Consultant


Kelby Welsh


Duke University

Kim Lyerly, M.D.

George Barth Geller Professor in Cancer Research, Professor of Surgery

Duke University

Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky, M.S.P.H.

Manager, Medical Advocates for Healthy Air

Clean Air Carolina

Stan Meiburg, Ph.D.

Director, Graduate Programs in Sustainability

Wake Forest University

Bill Ross, Jr., J.D.


Brooks Pierce

Kerstan Ryan, M.N.L.M.

Development Manager

Clean Air Carolina