An environmental and social justice youth activist, Illai’s first public speech was at the Million Youth Movement Rally at the age of nine. She co founded Georgia Kids Against Pollution when she was 12. A winner of the Brower Youth Award for environmental leaders, she challenged Coca-Cola over water practices in India and spoke up about poverty at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa. Illai was among the many activists gassed during the traumatic Ferguson, M.O. marches that underscored Black Lives Matter. She served as an organizer with Black Youth Vote to promote youth civic engagement and as a Green Ambassador with the Toyota Green Initiative and Green for All. She volunteered with Hearts for Africa in Malawi and went to Ghana with the Morehouse College MPAGE program, where she worked on sustainable development projects. As a professional Illai started her career working in her alma mater Howard University’s Office of Sustainability. It was there that the inspiration for the HBCU Green Fund began. With a deep knowledge of HBCUs history, infrastructure and unique challenges Illai hopes to usher in a green future for HBCUs and the Black community.
Felicia M. Davis directs Sustainability for Clark Atlanta University and is a member of the CAU Sustainability Council. She supports the CAU team approach to sustainability with a focus on campus-wide engagement. A staunch advocate for measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency retrofits, green building, and an array of sustainable practices, in 2016 she founded the HBCU Green Fund to help finance green projects at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A co-lead for the HBCU Geosciences Working Group, she also serves on the boards of the Green 2.0-an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diversity in environmental leadership, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation & Convener of the Clayton County Black Women’s Roundtable, and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper dedicated to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin. She serves as the co-chair for the National Technical Association 92nd Annual Conference. Felicia began her environmental career working on air quality and climate justice as the Georgia Air Keeper director and subsequently served as the first director of Mothers & Others for Clean Air when it was housed within the Georgia Conservancy. She is an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow, IGEL Fellow and Intentional Endowments Network Steering Committee Member. An author of the Air of Injustice Report, she also produced the MSI Green Report, Sustainable Campuses-Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions, and the 2014 HBCU Green Report. Her favorite question is – if we get it right what will it look like?
Henry M. Lancaster, II
Henry is the principal and manager of Lancaster, Craig &Associates, a lobbying, association management and community relations firm in downtown Raleigh. He is a graduate of the Northeastern University of School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Henry’s North Carolina legislative and policy experience include his having served in former Governor Jim Hunt’s administration in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He served as department legislative liaison, assistant Secretary for Natural Resources, and deputy Secretary. After leaving state government, Henry worked at the North Carolina League of Municipalities as their Director of Intergovernmental Relations. LCA opened its doors in February of 2001. The firm’s client base includes local governments, trade associations, non-profits, public universities, and private business concerns. He has served as a board member of the North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association and Audubon NC. Henry is a former Chair for the North Carolina Arboretum Board of Directors and a former member of the Institute for the Environment/UNC Board of Visitors. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater Lincoln University.