Scholars have documented that racial minorities, and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of this country’s environmental problems. These communities face higher concentrations of toxic waste sites and garbage dumps, are subject to air and water pollution that can have serious health consequences, and are often shut out of environmental decision making processes. In the 1980’s the Environmental Justice Movement was born out of opposition to this reality and now encompasses everything from toxic exposures, to transportation equity, to food justice. In this class, we will look at the history of the Environmental Justice movement, and examine several regional case studies of environmental injustice including: nuclear waste sites on Native American Land; oil refineries and industry in Richmond, California; diesel bus emissions in Harlem, and the South Bronx; mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia; and food deserts across the country. We will explore the specific health impacts and the pathways of exposure, as well as the health system that fails to provide for many of these same communities. This class will also examine the role of academia and the ethical implications of conducting health research in communities. We will explore the importance of Community Based Participatory Research and learn about the Environmental Justice movement in Connecticut and the surrounding area.
This class will meet from 7-10pm on Monday or Tuesday nights (depending on interest) and will be greatly shaped by the students in the forum. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!