De Anza College Civil Rights and Environmental Justice PaperSchool
Did you notice in A Fierce Green Fire that the community of Love Canal (Links to an external site.) was not treated the same as the community of Warren County (Links to an external site.)? The community of Love Canal held the United States Environmental Protection Agency representatives (federal employees) hostage in their homes and there was no police recourse. Meanwhile in Warren County…well you watched the movie (and if you didn’t go ahead and do it now). It wasn’t pretty.
So how do Environmental studies and justice intersect? It’s time to talk about it.
What are the Jim Crow Laws? Read here to learn. (Links to an external site.)
Refresher on the Civil Rights Movement:
Watch (Do not worry about the minor details and dates in these videos. Think about access to resources and the ability to survive within the US social system based on that access. Don’t worry about specific dates and laws. If you’re really interested in it you have a lot more classes where they’ll have you memorize this stuff. This isn’t one of them):
If you’re aware of what is going on in the United States currently then you know that we’re in civil unrest.
As I’m sure you are all aware I have a doctorate degree in leadership. I decided to pursue my doctorate degree while working as full-time faculty here at De Anza. I had studied Environmental Science up until that point and I noticed that within our organization there was a lot of discourse around equity. Unfortunately, my education in the “sciences” didn’t cover anything around that and since I am a curious person and a lifelong learner, I thought hey why not get a doctorate. Cause that’s what normal people do. (No, it’s not.)
As I watch the situations occur around us I cannot help but observe and analyze the leaders’ responses. I have shared with you all my teaching philosophies, but I have not yet shared my leadership philosophy- I practice servant and transformation leadership.
In order to be this type of leader, I go to those who are most knowledgeable. I know not to act as if I know it all. On this subject, I typically defer to Dr. Bob Bullard (you’ll remember him from A Fierce Green Fire). Check this out- I saw him live in San Francisco.
January 3rd, 2020: DR. ROBERT BULLARD: THE FATHER OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE (https://www.climateone.org/audio/dr-robert-bullard-father-environmental-justice (Links to an external site.))
Listen or read the podcast.
I went to this event with a broken foot because I was going to see him with my own eyes and I did!
Using the resources provided here respond to the following scenario:
A passerby noticed that you (an Environmental Studies major, this is my dream so I get to pick your major) are reviewing these resources on environmental justice and says “what do civil rights have to do with environmental studies?” Explain to them. Practice here because it will happen. It happens to me all the time and I need you to help me explain to others because as you can probably see from the way resources are available to me for use to you in this class, they are presented primarily through the lens of the dominant class of society. As Bob Bullard says, this isn’t a belief. Explain in a minimum of 300 words. It can be informal. You do not need to try to impress me using words that you may not know. Stick with your own vocabulary. Even if you feel it’s not academic enough. This is not a place where I want you to worry about big words and grammar. Just get the message across. How would you tell someone on the street? Your friend who doesn’t go to De Anza that needs to understand better? Explain it to them.
Also, check out Dr. Bullard’s twitter. He posts great links: https://twitter.com/DrBobBullard
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