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Deeohn Ferris

Sustainable Community Development Group
Deeohn Ferris, JD, is President and Founder of Sustainable Community Development Group, a not-for-profit national research and policy social venture enterprise, whose two-fold mission is advancing equity and community inclusion in economic development decisions, and ensuring that disadvantaged populations participate in neighborhood revitalization benefits and financial opportunities. Taking into account poverty, social, health and environmental determinants, she facilitates diverse collaboration and community renewal by pinpointing issues, aligning divergent stakeholder objectives, and producing results. Ms. Ferris is a lawyer and internationally recognized provider of technical and public policy expertise.

Ms. Ferris leads collaborative green economy place-making and policy teams grounded in equitable development, environmental protection, smart growth and public health. She has extraordinary experience working with communities in countries on five continents, including China, Turkey, South Africa, Nepal, India, Bolivia, Mexico, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and North America. Her interdisciplinary career includes litigation and managerial roles at US EPA, insurance industry counsel, and leadership positions with prominent environmental and civil rights organizations. She is the environmental justice pioneer who launched the national Environmental Justice Project for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. She helped convene the first-ever Congressional hearings and led the groundbreaking nationwide campaign resulting in the federal call-to-action Presidential Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and federal Interagency Workgroup. Ms. Ferris has also trained judges and lawyers in Southeast Asia, and counseled NGOs attending the World Social Forum and 6 United Nations World Conferences around the globe. She serves on numerous public service committees and boards.