F&ES 975b / 2019-2020
Environmental Justice Capstone: Interdisciplinary Research and Practice at the Intersection of Civil Rights & the Environment (application process)
Spring 2020: Time and location TBA
Students in the spring 2019 Environmental Justice Capstone (subtitled Interdisciplinary Research and Practice at the Intersection of Civil Rights & the Environment) will have the opportunity to work in partnership with communities of color and low-income communities on projects to address racial disparities and improve environmental quality and public health in environmentally overburdened communities. Students will work in small teams taking on projects to address inequality and race discrimination 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.
Students this past semester worked on projects that included:
-Drafting federal legislation in consultation with community and advocacy groups across the country that would place a moratorium on concentrated animal feeding operations and enact other measures to limit their impacts;
-Research and drafting public comments to be filed on behalf of environmental justice organizations regarding recently proposed changes to NEPA;
-Research and analysis of the impacts of a landfill in a historically black community in Alabama analyzing landfill permit variances and assessing the relationship between race and landfill locations in Alabama.
These projects will continue and in the coming semester, students will also have the opportunity to analyze the impact of Connecticut’s ten-year old environmental justice law and work with community groups in Beaumont, Texas and Uniontown, Alabama on the documentation of the impacts of polluting facilities such as refineries and landfills.
The semester will begin with a “bootcamp” intended to provide an orientation on key substantive information and the work of the Capstone. Students will then participate in a weekly 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. 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.
To apply, please send Marianne Engelman Lado a c.v. and short statement of your interest (under a page please) at Marianne.firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Second year students will be given priority, but first year students are encouraged to apply. Enrollment limited to sixteen.
Limited to sixteen