Environmental Justice and the Common Good: A Conference on Community-University Partnerships for Research, Learning and Social Change, Santa Clara University, May 2-3, 2019

EJ_Logo_3-360x360On May 2-3, 2019, Santa Clara University is holding an environmental justice conference entitled on “Community-University Partnerships for Research, Learning and Social Change.” The substantive focus of the focus will be on how universities can partner with communities on research, learning and other activities advancing social change related to environmental justice.  There will be opportunities to engage in dialogue among conference participants and presenters.  (Unfortunately, the deadline for poster presentation slots has already passed.)  Conference speakers include environmental justice activists, academics and officials.  If you have an interest in this topic,  please join us.  Conference agenda, speaker information, and a registration link can be found here:  Conference Link.

Here is an excerpt from the conference website:

Mounting scientific evidence shows that low-income communities and communities of color face severe and unequal threats to their environments and health. Pope Francis issued a call to action for people and the environment in his groundbreaking encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. In response, this conference will focus on strengthening university-community partnerships for environmental justice and the common good.

Learning from successful collaborations and networks, we aim to develop diverse and mutually respectful partnerships between communities and universities to produce research, inform policy, and foster social change for environmental justice. The conference organizers — a faculty collaborative formed by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University — are especially inspired by the collective potential within the network of over 190 Jesuit institutions of higher learning worldwide.

Conference panels will include community-based organizers from secular and faith-based institutions reflecting on opportunities to work together for environmental justice. Breakout sessions will focus on envisioning potential research partnerships among conference participants, providing opportunities to make new connections and explore collaborations. Participants are also invited to present relevant research at a concluding poster session.

The day after the conference, there will be a workshop focused on building networks for environmental justice and integral ecology, with two tracks. Track 1 will focus on building a regional environmental justice network of leaders from community-based organizations, and faculty and staff from Santa Clara University and other California universities. We will consolidate takeaways from the conference, identify needs for sustained engagement in partnerships, and plan a process to develop collaborative research and action agendas. In track 2, faculty, staff, and administrators in Jesuit higher education will make plans to coordinate our scholarship, service, and education to foster environmental justice and the common good. This will focus on expanding the work of the AJCU Integral Ecology Affinity Group nationally and internationally.

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