ENVS 1720: Environmental Justice: The Science and Political Economy of Environmental Health and Justice
In this course, Environmental Justice: The Science and Political Economy of Environmental Health and Justice, students will learn about the disproportionate burdens of environmental contamination and about the health disparities affecting communities of color across the US and internationally. Since the early 1990’s, an environmental justice movement in the US, led by many racially-diverse leaders, has achieved much progress in advocating for just forms of health research, improved environmental/health policies, and worker protections to remedy these harms of racial/cultural injustice. In this course, we will review environmental health/justice theories and perspectives as they bear on case studies of Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Latin American indigenous groups and Asian-Americans and how they have organized to improve health and justice in their rural/urban neighborhoods, reservations and cities. We will review programs that have been organized to address childhood asthma reduction, lead poisoning prevention, waste recycling, clean-up and restoration of contaminated sites, sustainable/organic agriculture, clean energy programs and cancer and health disparities research. Students will be asked to critically examine these efforts and also explore unresolved, chronic problems with environmental injustices and health impacts.