Jo Banner

Jo Banner co-founded The Descendants Project, where she channels her affection and knowledge into challenging systems, primarily legal systems that have exploited the descendants, such as herself, of those enslaved to plantations. She is now working to gain recognition of the burial grounds of the enslaved as sacred sites and aims to protect such sites and their communities from degradation, especially degradation caused by heavy industry.

As a resident of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, Jo champions environmental justice causes and is actively developing strategies to transform land slated for use by pollutant-causing industries into green spaces where communities like hers can thrive. She has spoken before the United Nations and participated in the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.

The Descendants Project
Co-Founder & Co-Director