Besse Odom

Wednesday Morning Plenary

    Micah Hahn will talk about the CAP development process and explain how health and well-being were integrated throughout the document, connecting it back to the State Climate and Health Assessment. She will address the partnerships that were developed to create the CAP and provide an overview of the community engagement strategy. Mara Kimmel will discuss how our work on the CAP fits into the broader community values that reflect Anchorage’s commitment to be a welcoming and resilient community. She will describe how the city built a resilience strategy rooted in equity and social justice. Besse Odom will discuss how climate equity considerations were integrated into the CAP process. She will also discuss her experience on the Advisory Committee, helping connect the climate action plan back to communities and residents in Anchorage. In order to make our plenary relevant for health professionals across Alaska, we will present our work on the Anchorage CAP as an example of a collaborative process that could be undertaken in other places.

    Besse Odom, a first generational Alaskan, has dedicated her life to protecting Alaska’s environment through various forms of advocacy that include lobbying, protesting and various educational programs. She has served as mentor for the pilot program Fresh Tracks that was endorsed by President Obama and his administration, she sits on the Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference ECJ committee, she is an Energy Practitioner for the national NAACP and has been nationally recognized for her efforts and successes towards environment justice. In 2016 and 2017, Besse was awarded the Presidential Award by past president Wanda Greene and Kevin McGee for her contributions towards a greener, equitable and more sustainable Alaska. Currently, Besse is studying Education, Special Education and French. Her plan is to open schools across Francophone Africa and teach information that preserves and uplifts the African culture. Through her work with the educational system, she hopes to uplift communities towards environmental resiliency and sustainability. Besse currently serves as Vice President and Environmental chair for the Youth Council and serves as Environmental and Climate Justice Chair / Vice President for the NAACP Branch 1000. She plans to continue serving Alaska and work towards preserving the environment and making way for a sustainable and equitable just transition.