We’re excited to introduce you to our North Carolina team of organizers! Organizer Anita Cunningham, Debra David, and Cameron Phillips all live in NC communities that the wood pellet industry most directly harms. In their respective communities, they’re educating their neighbors on the damaging impacts of the wood pellet biomass industry, and encouraging their communities to get involved in advocating for forest protection and environmental justice.
We’re thrilled to have such exceptional leadership on our team!
Local organizing is a critical component of our work for forest protection. For too long, lax policies and regulations have enabled a system of forest destruction that concentrates harm in lower-income communities of color. An organized and educated movement is the first step in advancing policies that don’t allow for the rampant logging and pollution.
Last year, the NC team gathered in Raleigh, NC to highlight Governor Cooper’s lack of action on protecting forests and communities from the destruction of the wood pellet industry. This year, we’re making it clear that his continued inaction is not an option.
Meet Organizer Anita Cunningham, Robeson County
Hi, Anita here! I’m the Program Director for the Robeson County Cooperative for Sustainable Development and the Project Manager for the NC Disaster Survival and Resiliency School. I’m also supporting community organizing around the wood pellet issue here in Robeson County with the Impacted Communities Against Wood Pellets Coalition. After moving to North Carolina in 2018 – three days before Hurricane Florence – I found my calling in advocacy and environmental justice. I love supporting resilience among at-risk communities and advocating for the most damaged and least consulted communities of color affected by climate emergencies. Whether it’s the negative impacts of the wood pellet industry, racial, social, or other environmental injustices, my passion is working in an authentic way that allows excluded voices to be elevated. I love spending time with my grandchildren and have become a dedicated beachgoer since moving to North Carolina.
Meet Organizer Debra David, Richmond County
Hi my name is Debra David. I am a resident of Richmond County. I am the organizer for Concerned Citizens of Richmond County. I live just down the road from an Enviva wood pellet plant, and I support my community in organizing around wood pellet issues. In 2019, our local group was successful in getting a huge win when our work forced Enviva to reduce pollution at their Richmond County plant by 95%. I love what I do, especially with environmental issues. I love working along with Dogwood Alliance.
Meet Organizer Cameron Phillips, Northampton County
Hi, I’m Cameron Phillips, a community consultant for Dogwood Alliance. I work closely with Northampton County communities that suffer the impacts of industrial logging and the wood pellet industry. I believe that with education and organizing we can start a movement that will bring to light the negative aspects of logging in Northampton County for our communities. Working together we can create solutions that uplift our people without destroying the environment. I live in Garysburg, NC . I enjoy spending my free time with my family in the beautiful outdoors of North Carolina. Also, I enjoy coaching the youth of Northampton County in many sports throughout the year. I’m looking forward to working more closely with our team in NC and excited to see what we will accomplish this year!