Joe Rieger, Deputy Director of Restoration – Elizabeth River Project
Joe Rieger has worked for the non-profit, Elizabeth River Project, for 20 years and is the Deputy Director of Restoration. Joe has managed numerous wetland, oyster, and sediment restorations projects in the Elizabeth and Lafayette Rivers. Joe was the project manager for the remediation of Money Point which was the first nationally recognized community-led cleanup of contaminated sediments. He was also the project manager for oyster restoration in the Lafayette River, which became the first river in Virginia to meet Chesapeake Bay Program restoration goals in 2018. His position involves working directly with federal and state governments, waterfront industries, universities and the community members of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Joe received his Bachelors of Science from Ohio University in 1998, and received a Master’s degree in Aquatic Ecology from Old Dominion University in 2002. Joe and his wife KC live in Norfolk on the Lafayette River. They have two sons, Walter and Lucas who both enjoy baseball and fishing on the river.
Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown, Professor and Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education – Stetson University; President – National Coalition for the Homeless
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education at Stetson University and the President of the National Coalition for the Homeless. She is also the Executive Director of the Institute for Catalyzing Equity, Justice, and Social Change and the Co-Chair of Equity and Justice for the International Society for Teacher Education and Information Technology. Dr. Shankar-Brown is a dedicated eco-justice educator, cultural strategist, public policy advisor, poet, artist, civil and human rights activist working to advance intersectional equity and justice. Currently, she is helping to lead a national comprehensive grassroots campaign led by people with lived experiencing focused on housing justice in connection to issues with racial equity, environmental degradation, and education. She is recognized for her civic-engaged leadership including being selected as a Faculty Scholar by the National Humanities Center, Educator of the Year by the Florida PDK International, and Engaged Scholarship Faculty Award by the Florida Campus Compact. In addition to being a passionate teacher-scholar, she is a devoted Amma (Mom) and chai enthusiast.