The Environmental Law Program hosted its annual Fedder Lecture and 25th Environmental Wine Tasting on Friday, November 18. This year the Fedder Lecture was delivered by Benjamin Wilson, managing principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. Wilson’s theme was "Environmental Law, an Opportunity to Change the World; Why Not You?" Reviewing the history and current state of environmental law, Wilson noted that some of the most influential figures in the history of the environmental movement started their work at a very early age.
Wilson cited students at Benjamin Franklin High School in southeast Baltimore who stopped the largest incinerator on the east coast from being sited in their neighborhood. The students formed a group called “Free Your Voice” that organized successful protests against the project. They group now is proposing that the site be used for a solar energy project. Their inspiring story led to the award of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America to Destiny Watford, leader of the group.
A film about Free Your Voice and its campaign to stop the incinerator, produced by environmental law students Jennifer Caggino and Seungju Kang, was shown at the winetasting. Audrey Rozier, a member of Free Your Voice who is part of the musical group Leah and Drey Rose, gave a stirring performance at the winetasting of the original song that the group had performed at various rallies throughout the campaign to stop the incinerator.
The Environmental Law Program’s 25th Annual Winetasting was another great success. Held in Westminster Hall, the event is the program’s signature annual gathering, bringing together hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and friends. This year 76 wines from a dozen countries were sampled, including the 2016 beaujolais nouveau which had just arrived in the U.S. The top finishers in the annual “guess the mystery wine” competition received wine glasses featuring with the program’s theme “Wine: Nature’s Thanks for Preserving the Earth.” Alumna Apple Chapman ’99, deputy director of EPA’s air enforcement division, came closest to identifying correctly the 2014 Australian shiraz.
Fedder lecturer Benjamin Wilson with Amy Polikoff, daughter of the late Joel Fedder for whom the lecture is named.
Audrey Rozier from Leah and Drey Rose performs the song that helped stopped the incinerator