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 currently serves on the leadership team of the Downstate Caucus of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC), where equity, inclusiveness, diversity and wealth building is key to developing energy policy. Most recently Pam has been selected to serve on the organizing team of the Natural Climate Solutions Working Group of the ICJC. The focus of here work there is to expand regenerative agriculture in Illinois to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; create carbon storage through healthy soils and land conservation; and improve community resilience through access to land, local food production and markets. This work focuses on communities facing food insecurity due to climate change; the COVID-19 global pandemic; and systemic racism that creates barriers for wealth-building.