Welcome to ENVS 435/535 Environmental Justice! How and why are environmental problems experienced differently according to race, gender and class? How do different communities experience and respond to environmental problems? Why does it matter that there is unequal exposure to environmental risks and benefits? What do we learn about the meaning of gender, race and class by studying the patterns of exposure and creative resistance of different communities to environmental hazards? In other words, what does the study of environmental risks tell us about racism, classism, sexism in our nation and world today? What is environmental privilege and why does it matter? These are some of the questions we will take up in the next ten weeks together. This course will be highly reading and discussion intensive. Environmental justice is one of the most important and active sites of environmental scholarship and activism in our country today. We will read classics and new material and work both inside and outside the classroom. In particular, we are very fortunate that the largest public interest environmental law conference in the country is held annually here in Eugene Oregon. Attendance is mandatory as we will integrate ideas, issues and information from the conference into our class.
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