Friday, March 14, 2008

The State of Environmenal Justice In America 2008

Conference planning is going very well. This conference will bring together individuals interested in environmental justice from diverse groups at this noteworthy juncture in the history of environmental justice, through a process of dialogue and learning from each other, to:
  1. Identify significant EJ success stories, strategies, and lessons learned, and how to replicate them.
  2. Identify potential collaborations that can produce additional strategies and success stories.
  3. Identify key dates and events in the history of environmental justice activities.
  4. Identify emerging issues in environmental justice.
  5. Develop an additional resource in Washington, DC for an annual environmental justice conference and other support to environmental justice efforts.
Expected outcomes:
  • Rigorous analysis and discussion of environmental justice issues from diverse points of view.
  • Better understanding of EJ successes and how to replicate them on the part of conference participants and other audiences (readers of conference related materials).
  • Stronger commitment to EJ from key groups, agencies, business and industry, academic institutions and other entities.
  • A comprehensive Conference Report including papers presented by conference panelists and others.
Projected audience:

The conference seeks to bring together federal employees, academics, business and industry, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, local community activists and others to participate in dialog on achieving equality of environmental protection. The conference will serve as an academic legal conference to advance scholarship regarding environmental justice. A related goal of this conference is to expose law students to the myriad and complicated aspects of environmental justice.


Chithra.KarunaKaran said...


Chithra.KarunaKaran said...

Dear EJ Conference Planners,

I missed a Global-Local perspective both in the Planning Objectives and in the Expected Outcomes.

Environmental Justice appears to be inextricably interrelated to issues of war, peace, food, air, trade, terror, occupation, forced migration,ecological refugees, poverty, natural resources and related factors,

ALL of which underscore social-political-economic relations of unequal POWER.

For example it may be possible to characterize the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as an environmental catastrophe with racialized environmental consequences for the Iraqi people.

Again, US, WB, IMF policy support for growing biofuels both in the US and elsewhere, notably Brazil but in many poor nation-states, may have take land and food out of the global food supply. Q. What price (not merely monetary) rice when corn is in your gas tank?
The environmental impacts of US agribusiness policy, on the poorest nation-states of Africa in particular as well as other LDC's need to be at the forefront of our environmental justice concerns.

The local-global interconnectedness of EVERY EJ issue is critically important to emphasize, because such an approach can produce the most effective synergy between environmental justice activism and the most ethical social justice policies.

With Best Regards,
Dr. Chithra Karunakaran
See "Theory of Systemic Whiteness."
See " Oppressed Histories, Suppressed Knowledges, Segregated Environments: Towards Critical Environmental Studies."

maxi said...

I believe we can call the accords a success, if for no other reason, the initiation of a discussion of a different framework for measuring the health of our communities than economic or growth related aspects.

I agree that it is a start, somewhat flawed, and aimed at incremental improvement. I also recognize that all points on the curve... from the early adopters to the 'cold-dead-fingers" crowd all need to be moving in the same direction, and efforts like this are an integral piece, in my opinion, to such holistic change.

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