Newburgh Clean Water Project – On site visit April 30, 12:30 @ Library; Public Symposium at SUNY NP on Health, Wellness and Environmental Justice, Wed April 27, SUB MPR room

This spring, we are starting an interdisciplinary community conversation on the Newburgh Clean Water project, an initiative designed to address the toxic levels of PFAS chemicals in the drinking water where many of our students, faculty and staff reside. We invite you to an information session on ways to bring this topic into your curriculum and programming this semester in light of the Principles of Environmental Justice. When students develop change agent skills and confidence in their own critical thinking, through applied learning experiences such as this, they become empowered leaders.

This Saturday, March 26, 12:30 p.m., we will meet at the Newburgh Public Library to begin a walking tour of Ward One to distribute information materials and have conversations on the SUNY Albany PFAS public health study. At this early stage, our main objective is building relationships. We hope you might be able to join us and meet community residents and leaders. Maybe you are one! Our second such walk is planned for Saturday, April 30 in connection with Black Barbershop Appreciation Day.  To register to attend, email (

  • SUNY New Paltz community conversation: Friday, January 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


We will discuss process and procedures for opening this discussion in an intentional way. Our goal is to create targeted conversations around this public health crisis and ask the question, What does it mean to engage intentionally with a community?

By fostering a shared conversation across disciplines and divisions, we can belong to this project of healing and regeneration. We and our students can learn through building connections and in-depth engagement with practitioners and community members through site visits, interviews, research, sensing journeys, listening sessions, and reflection. When creating curriculum or programming, please leave space for students to guide the discussions and activity. This work cannot happen without their input.

All members of the campus community are encouraged to attend the Restoration Advisory Board meeting (online) Feb 2nd 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. In April TBD, look for a Health & Wellness Summit in collaboration with U Albany. Student projects could be shared at this venue.

Already, faculty in Geography, School of Education, Chemistry, and Art have created curriculum around relevant STEM topics, water rights, environmental justice, and other facets of this situation. Students have thus developed change agent skills that increase leadership capabilities.

I have been in conversation with the following fac/staff groups (below) and they all are committed to collaborating with students on this teaching & learning initiative:

  • Sustainability Learning Community
  • Career resource Center
  • Writing Center
  • Eddy at New Paltz
  • Institute for Disaster Mental Health
  • English Composition Program
  • Writing Board
  • Faculty Development Center

My name is Edward Lawson, Jr. and on November 1st I was appointed as the new Assistant Director for Intercultural Relations. I also currently serve as the co-chair of the Stewart Air National Guard Restoration Advisory Board and as a member of the PFAS Multi-Site PFAS Health Study Community Advisory Panel (CAP).

Please join us Friday to launch this emerging conversation. Bring your questions and ideas.

Thank you.

Edward Lawson, Jr., JD, MBA
Assistant Director of Intercultural Relations, Center for Student Engagement
Adjunct Professor, Black Studies Department
State University of New York at New Paltz

(P) 845.257.3024




for Stewart Air National Guard Base

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Meeting Registration Link

The Restoration Advisory Board for Stewart Air National Guard Base will

hold a meeting on February 2, 2022. The meeting will be held virtually.

Meetings are open to the public and community members are

encouraged to attend. Use the link above to register in advance for the

meeting and receive your unique access link and call-in information.

For more information, please call 845-563-2075.