Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies (USEPA, 2017). This hands-on seminar course addresses key topics and themes in environmental justice. This course investigates the disproportionate impacts of climate change and related adaptation and mitigation efforts on vulnerable groups, especially communities of color and indigenous communities. In addition, this course looks at policy drivers and levers that may carve opportunities for change for the future.
Recognize and explain the connections and intersections between inequality (social, economic, political) and environmental quality/sustainability.
Illustrate and express why certain social groups and geographic communities are systematically overburdened with pollution and other environmental hazards.
Relate concepts like environmental (in) justice, environmental racism, and racial capitalism to real people and communities through in-depth readings, course discussions, and engagement with community organizations.
Give examples of the root causes of environmental injustices.
Understand the history of environmental justice and identify key questions and obstacles to meeting goals of environmental justice.
Research and develop innovative policy solutions to environmental injustice.