St. Paul, Minnesota | September 22-24, 2016
Indigenous communities, communities of color, and low-income communities across the United States are fighting for environmental justice (EJ). These communities have been disproportionately burdened by polluting industrial facilities and land and natural resource exploitation, which cause serious health impacts and safety hazards. EJ communities are pushing back, demanding transparency and accountability from policymakers and corporations.
Science could play a powerful role in the EJ movement. But too often, science has been used by powerful interests to minimize and dismiss community EJ concerns. The resulting legacy of mistrust creates serious challenges to productive scientist/community collaboration on EJ issues.
If our nation is to live up to its professed ideals of justice, we must overcome these challenges. Science should be a means, not an obstacle, to achieving environmental justice and informing policy decisions that benefit all. The Environmental Justice and Science Initiative (EJSI) and the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (CSD) are holding a three-day forum in St. Paul, Minnesota, to explore the opportunities and challenges faced by EJ activists working with scientists and scientific institutions.
The forum will open with an educational event on Thursday evening, September 22, that is open to the public. Attendees will learn from a panel of community activists, scientists, and policymakers, and will have an opportunity to join the conversation.