PhD Candidate, Clark University
Associate Director of Conservation, American Rivers
Janae Davis is an Associate Director of Conservation at American Rivers and a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. At American Rivers, Janae works to promote the health of the rivers and riverside lands in South Carolina to ensure clean drinking water supply, reduce flood risks, protect biodiversity, and assure sustainable and equitable access to conservation decision- making for communities of color. As a social scientist, she seeks to understand how to promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in biodiversity conservation. She has held fellowships with the U.S. National Park Service, American Rivers, and the National Wildlife Federation designing and implementing research, and working on projects focused on integrating JEDI into organizational structures and fostering engagement with communities of color. Janae is a Fulbright Student Award recipient whose dissertation research aims to understand the origins of indigenous low wage, ecotourism labor in the southern Kalahari Desert of South Africa and how it is sustained in the post-apartheid era. Her research also explores possibilities for grassroots approaches for promoting economic opportunities aligned with the social, cultural, and political needs of the ‡Khomani San community. She firmly believes that the most promising solutions for addressing environmental degradation will emerge from community-based coalitions that engage a diverse range of stakeholders. However, the effectiveness of these collaborations will depend on the development of processes, structures, and programs that assure inclusiveness and equity, and which address the real needs of frontline communities. Therefore, Janae is passionate exploring ideas and practices for linking environmental, environmental justice, and social justice movements. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from North Carolina State University a M.A. in Geography from the University of South Carolina.