Environmental Justice: Politics and Policy
The Environmental Justice (EJ) movement has raised public awareness of how environmental benefits and burdens are inequitably distributed in society. Within this context, Environmental Justice activists and advocates have presented claims regarding the disproportionate environmental exposures and health impacts experienced by communities of color and low-income communities. As a result, proponents of EJ have appealed to policymakers (and others) to develop strategies to eliminate “environmental racism” and other forms of “environmental injustice” inherent in environmental policies and decision-making processes. This course will focus on environmental politics and environmental justice policy adoption (or lack thereof) on federal, state and local levels. An emphasis will be placed on examining governmental responses environmental justice activism and advocacy. This includes analyzing the various opportunities and constraints that face efforts to implement environmental justice policy and to what degree such efforts address and remedy claims of environmental injustice. Student work will include weekly writing assignments evaluating and critiquing course content and a group project developing a policy proposal designed to address a community-based environmental justice issue or concern.
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