Pam Richart, Secretary
Pam is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Eco-Justice Collaborative, now based in Champaign, Illinois. While raising her family, she received her BA in Human Ecology in 1978 and her MA in Human Environment Planning in 1983 from Governors State University. From 1982 through 2008 Pam was employed by Planning Resources Inc. (PRI), an environmental and land use consulting firm founded in 1982. During that time, she served as Senior Planner and Vice-President and Director of Planning. She became an owner of the firm in 1996.
While with PRI, Pam prepared and directed comprehensive land use plans, zoning ordinances, and their updates and served as community planner for several Villages in DuPage and Kane County. She also directed and carried out land use, socio-economics and historic and cultural resources for major highway and rail projects in the Midwest, including High Speed Rail from Chicago to St. Louis. As part of this work, Pam helped develop and carry out public and agency involvement programs aimed at reaching public consensus on complex or controversial proposals.
In the mid-1990’s, a series of trips to Latin America helped transform Pam’s way of thinking about socio-economic and environmental crises both at home and globally. She subsequently served on the board of Jubilee Economics, a faith-based organization that contextualizes the healing and restoration of our one earth with the ancient practices of the biblical jubilee, and was founding board member of Chicago Fair Trade. In 2000, Pam and Lan decided to infuse eco-justice into their work, and began the process of transitioning both leadership and ownership of PRI. This enabled them to start Eco-Justice Collaborative, with its mission that advocates ecological sustainability and just distribution of resources.
Pam served on the leadership team of the Downstate Caucus of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) untll 2020, where equity, inclusiveness, diversity and wealth building is key to developing energy and climate policy. In January 2021, Pam organized the Natural Climate Solutions Working Group of the ICJC The focus of the work is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating or restoring carbon sinks through health soils and land conservation, and to improve community resilience through access to land, local food production and markets.