Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Kenya L. Goodson

Kenya Goodson

Dr. Kenya L. Goodson (left) and Cathy Meyer (right) at the July 2018 lobby day

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Kenya L. Goodson

By Claire Squire

Dr. Kenya L. Goodson is the Group Leader for CCL’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama chapter. Trained in environmental engineering and water resources, she currently works as a biology professor at Stillman College. Kenya also helps with community and political engagement through her church and the Tuscaloosa Democratic Party, and she is on the Board of Directors for Black Warrior Riverkeeper.

In Alabama, where there are four CCL chapters and one in development, Kenya’s strong leadership is highly beneficial. Don Addu, CCL’s Southeast Regional Director, explains why: “We know that any lasting, effective climate legislation must have support from both parties in order to be immune to the political swings in D.C. Six of Alabama’s seven representatives are Republican, so the work that Kenya, our Tuscaloosa chapter and our Alabama team are doing to turn climate into a bridge issue is fundamental to passing meaningful climate legislation.”

Adding to the importance of Kenya’s work is the intensity of climate impacts in her region. Don points out, “The National Climate Assessment shows the southern states are going to be severely impacted by climate change.” In this Q&A, Kenya shares what she’s learned through her environmental work, and what makes CCL stand out.

When did you first get connected with CCL?

Actually, I don’t remember exactly who told me about Citizens’ Climate Lobby, but it was [in] 2016 after the election. I became more involved politically. We formulated volunteer groups within an organization called Kudzu Coalition, and one of them was an Environmental and Sustainability Group. During this time, one of my volunteer contacts introduced some of us to CCL. 

Kenya Goodson

Kenya and Cathy in front of the U.S. Capitol during CCL’s 2018 June Lobby Day.

What do you like about CCL? 

What makes CCL special is that we are actual citizens lobbying the U.S. Congress for climate change legislation. Members are trained thoroughly, and so much information is provided for the members of CCL and the public. 

What projects within CCL are you working on currently?

Cathy [Meyer], Dr. Amber [Buck] and I are working on recruiting membership, finding adequate projects for our area, and writing letters to our legislators. We have been speaking to local officials about creating sustainability measures in Tuscaloosa. It has been a slow process, but we hope to have a vibrant group soon. Personally, I want to do a climate education piece for our community.

What keeps you motivated? 

The recent news about floods and weather instability keeps me motivated to do this work. 

Got a suggestion for our Volunteer Spotlight series? Send the name, chapter and some brief info about the volunteer to Flannery Winchester at flannery @ citizensclimatelobby.org.

Claire Squire is an intern with CCL’s Communications team and a second-year Environmental Management student at Indiana University.