[F&ES 974a] / 2019-2020

Environmental Justice Capstone: Interdisciplinary Research and Practice at the Intersection of Civil Rights & the Environment

Credits: 4
Fall 2019: Time and location TBA

Students will have the opportunity to work on project to improve environmental quality and public health in partnership with communities of color and low-income communities.  In the wake of a national conversation about the water crisis in Flint and lead poisoning across the country, students will take on projects to address inequality in the distribution of health hazards as well as procedural inequities experienced by communities as they try to assert their own vision for the future of their neighborhoods, towns and cities.  The EJ Capstone’s work will include projects related to civil rights compliance and social justice in the environmental context, and work with community residents to develop strategies to address issues of environmental injustice. In addition to projects to help develop and evaluate the record of environmental contamination, Capstone teams will work on policy approaches to addressing the sources and impacts of air and water contamination in disproportionately affected communities.
Students will also participate in a seminar intended to explore issues raised by the application of knowledge, skills, and approaches to the environmental justice context, including both substantive issues of environmental and civil rights law and policy, as well as questions related to practice, including ethical and social dimensions of providing technical assistance in this context.  The seminar will meet approximately two hours per week. In addition to class meetings and preparation, Capstone participants must complete project work.  Students will also be expected to participate in two weekly one-half-hour team meetings. While there is no prerequisite for the Capstone, participants should have a strong interest in working on behalf of environmentally overburdened communities — often communities of color and low-income communities.
Enrollment limited to sixteen.