SS 12 - Our Living Environment: Causes and Strategies for Alleviating Impacts of Environmental Change on Minority Communities

Monday, August 7, 2017: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
B110-111, Oregon Convention Center
Kennedy F. Rubert-Nason, Madison Area Technical College
Wilnelia Recart, University of California - Irvine; Sam L. Davis, Dogwood Alliance; Tiffany S. Carey, University of Michigan; and George Middendorf, Howard University
Environmental stewardship and advocacy are often experienced differently by underrepresented minorities (URMs). Their efforts are less-likely to receive attention by media and policy makers, and their viewpoints and struggles may be devalued. Through various pathways, such as increased extreme-heat and flooding events that affect human health, and droughts that diminish food availability,  the impacts of  climate change  are expected to disproportionately impact URMs, giving great importance to understanding the challenges faced by their communities and how we, as ecologists, can help.

This session will begin by introducing concepts and terminology that will facilitate understanding of the impediments to climate change advocacy in URM communities. To assist with unravelling these concepts, a representative from a local climate change advocacy group representing an URM sector will speak about the complex interrelationship between race/gender/socioeconomic status, environmental justice, and earth stewardship. A roundtable discussion will follow, with the primary goal of identifying actions that ESA members can take to support URMs involved in environmental advocacy.

This session will facilitate development of a framework for coordinating environmental stewardship, justice and advocacy activities between ESA sections and outside groups with complementary goals. Outcomes of this special session include 1) identifying and prioritizing environmental issues disproportionately affecting URMs, 2) identifying support venues and how to apply them (e.g., socio-ecological research, educational and outreach initiatives),  3) establishing a network of people/organizations keen to addressing these issues, and 4) compiling a list of useful tools/resources.

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