Earth Systems Program announces new Minor in Environmental Justice
Students pursuing the Minor will gain a foundational understanding of environmental justice frameworks, histories, and theories of change, as well as the skills necessary for achieving more equitable access to environmental benefits.
A new Minor in Environmental Justice (EJ) in Stanford’s Earth Systems Program will provide students with opportunities to study how and why environmental inequities occur, and learn from community-led efforts to redress these inequities. Students pursuing the Minor will gain a foundational understanding of environmental justice frameworks, histories, and theories of change. They will also develop skills necessary for achieving more equitable access to environmental benefits and preventing disproportionate impacts of environmental harms on communities of color and economically disadvantaged groups.
As part of a broader effort to build diversity, equity and inclusion in Stanford’s Earth Systems Program, and to promote anti-racism in the academy and our society, the EJ Minor provides an academic pathway for students to gain insight into the deep historical connections between environmental inequities and structural racism. The courses, advising, and community-engagement offered through the Minor will deepen learning opportunities for Earth Systems students, who are already building EJ into their education and internships and engaging in transformative EJ initiatives in their respective communities and careers. “We're excited to provide a structure for students to integrate the theory and practice of EJ within their academic path at Stanford,” said Karen Casciotti, the Victoria and Roger Sant Director of the Earth Systems Program.
The new EJ Minor emerged from a collaboration among students, staff, and faculty in the Stanford Environmental Justice Working Group and the Earth Systems Program. "The EJ Minor responds to a pressing need for students to build an intellectual framework to engage in collective action around intersecting problems of environmental racism and climate change," said Sibyl Diver, a lecturer in the Earth Systems Program and co-leader of Stanford’s EJ Working Group. Richard Nevle, Earth Systems Deputy Director, noted that “The EJ Minor will enable students to fill in a crucial gap in their studies of social-environmental challenges as the university launches a new School focused on climate and sustainability.” “Our program is deeply grateful,” Nevle added, “for the efforts of so many thoughtful people who contributed to envisioning and designing the new Minor.”
The new EJ Minor is part of a cross-campus initiative to enable students to engage with environmental justice at all stages in their education, a topic which will be discussed at the National EJ Education and Teaching Workshop on Sept 15.
The Minor’s requirements include 12 units of community engaged coursework, making students eligible for the Cardinal Service Notation. Students can learn more about the requirements for the new Environmental Justice Minor on the Stanford University Bulletin or by reaching out to Anahid Babekian or any of the Earth Systems Student Advisors.