Jessica (Jess) Thomas


Jessica (Jess) Thomas

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Marion, SC 29571, USA

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Area of Focus

scientist-community partnerships, science for justice-based advocacy & policy, actionable & accessible science, toxics, cumulative impacts

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Hi, A bit about me…..

I’m the Managing Director of SciCAN. I’m a part of the amazing team here that seeks to foster the connections, learning, and collaborations among this community so that EJ communities have the support to use science and technical information, including their own lived experience and observations, to make positive changes in their communities.

I’ve been working at the intersection of science and justice-centered policy advocacy for over 10 years as an organizer at the Union of Concerned Scientists. I’ve had the great fortune of learning from and working with many EJ leaders/communities across the country who are shaping and using scientific and technical information to advance and win their campaigns, and to work with scientists/health/technical experts from across the country who were committed to principled partnerships with EJ communities.

Before UCS I worked at the University of Massachusetts Boston in the Biology department – managing a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant program that supported underrepresented students in going directly from undergrad to PhD/MD-PhD programs in biomedical sciences, research & teaching support via purchasing and managing supplies, equipment & chemicals.

Other fun stuff: I’m originally from Plymouth, Massachusett(s)/Wampanoag lands and I now live in Marion, South Carolina/Pee Dee Lands. I have 3 pets – 2 dogs (Zuzu & Mr. Bones), 1 cat (Sasha Fierce). I love hip hop & R&B, growing veggies & fruits though I’m still very much learning by trial & error, zumba/group exercise classes, being in nature in its many forms, and my many friends and family. I owe much of my good fortune to and honor my grandmother, Fatina Nammari Barclay, for her love, resilience, and fierceness.


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