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Sol Summit to focus on climate change and action in region's communities of color

This car was stranded on Rozzelle's Ferry Road in west Charlotte during a storm in 2020.
David Boraks
This car was stranded on Rozzelle's Ferry Road in west Charlotte during a storm in 2020.

A two-day conference in Charlotte this Friday and Saturday will bring together elected officials and community organizers to discuss climate change and environmental justice as they affect communities of color.

It's the fifth year for the Sol Summit organized by Charlotte nonprofit Sol Nation. The group organizes and educates people in Charlotte's West End neighborhood, as well as communities across the Charlotte region, through workshops, panel discussions and cultural events, said executive director Tiffany Fant.

Tiffany Fant
Sol Nation
Tiffany Fant.

"We really focus on Black and brown communities, in educating about the impacts of climate change, and how it's affecting communities, but then also equipping (them) to be able to advocate for themselves because we believe communities should own their solutions. Because those that are closest to the problem, tend to have the solutions as well," Fant said.

The Sol Summit panels will focus on North Carolina's environmental and political landscape, art and environmental justice, data as a tool for change and how to find funding. Speakers include community organizer Kristie Puckett Williams, artist Marcus Kiser and moderator Ohavia Phillips.

Fant said she expects more than 60 participants from environmental, housing, education, health care, tech and creative groups.

"We call it a 'tooling summit,' which means we want people to leave feeling like they not just heard some great inspiration, but with some real tangible ways that they can go back and make some application to the community," Fant said. "So really, giving people some tangible skills in tactical things that they can apply."

The summit begins Friday at 9 a.m. at UNC Charlotte Center City. Saturday's events include a community project and a group strategy session where attendees can share ideas based on what they've learned. It ends with a Sol Summit Kickback reception Saturday night at Charlotte Museum of History.

More information and registration at

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David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.
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