A Weekend Dedicated to the Problem of Environmental Justice

Toxic dumping, landfills, lead poisoning, air pollution, brownfields, hazardous waste disposal, safe drinking water, siting industrial facilities, environmental inequality…

These are among the worries that many people have to contend with, while most others do not. Why do some shoulder the burden of environmental hazards more than others?

This event will explore the complex issues of environmental justice and the pressing problem that it has become in the United States and around the world.

The weekend consists of major presentations by nationally known experts who will provide in-depth analysis of the problem, group discussions of specific topics, and a video presentation of the classic PBS documentary “Toxic Racism.” The event is designed for anyone interested in learning how environmental justice impacts the world in which we live.

Among some of the topical issues and questions to be raised:

  • How extensive is the problem of environmental justice and how is it measured?
  • Should global warming be considered as part of the problem of environmental justice?
  • Is Environmental Justice a problem of “environmental racism?”
  • When facilities are built that have known negative environmental impacts are some groups put at a risk more often than others?
  • Why did President Bill Clinton sign an Executive Order dealing with the problem of environmental justice?
  • How can the problem of environmental justice be resolved?

Be sure to take a look at the weekend timeline and check out how to register. CMU students can opt to take this program as a “weekend immersion course” for 3 units of credit. Students on other campuses can also attend any or all of the sessions and may be able to earn college credit through the Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education (PCHE).

The general public is invited and very welcome to attend any or all of the program sessions on Friday and Saturday.

Our Key Speakers

Edwardo L. Rhodes Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and author of "Environmental Justice: A New Paradigm."
Kent Benjamin Innovation, Partnerships, and Communication, Partnerships Team Leader, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ronald Sandler Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Religion and Senior Researcher in the Nanotechnology and Society Research Group at Northeastern University
Deeohn Ferris President of the Sustainable Community Development Group, Inc. a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to metropolitan sustainability, environmental health, smart growth and regional equity.

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What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

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