Environmental Justice through Environmental Literacy

Environmental Justice through Environmental Literacy

“We should design at the margins to place environmental justice at the heart of environmental literacy.”

Craig Strang

This week, Craig Strang helps us look at environmental justice in the context of environmental literacy.

In Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts portrays a real-life activist who fights a legal battle against a utility on groundwater contamination in Hinkley, in the Mojave Desert. The movie brings alive a classic environmental justice problem: a powerful company contaminates the eco-resources of an underprivileged community that has little capacity to fight back.

Craig Strang, Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the leaders of the environmental literacy movement in California. Listen to his views on the most pressing environmental justice issues facing California and around the US.

Hear more from Craig here:

Craig wants to make sure that we place environmental justice at the heart of the emerging discipline of environmental literacy.

Read about how Craig envisions this can take place.

Relevant Links

California Environmental Literacy Initiative: Thinking through Environmental Justice in K-12 Education

A 2020 publication of the California History-Social Science Project, the California Global Education Project, the California Science Project, and the California Subject Matter Project that explores issues and opportunities to address environmental justice through professional learning for K-12 educators in California.

Racial Equity in Outdoor Science and Environmental Education

A note on practices to address racial equity in outdoor science and environmental education during the pandemic and beyond.

A Field at Risk: The Impact of COVID-19 on Environmental and Outdoor Science Education

In April 2020, the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a survey to learn about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environmental and outdoor science education field nationwide. This policy brief describes the findings of the survey and makes recommendations for mitigating the potentially devastating threats facing this field.

Examining equitable and inclusive work environments in environmental education: Perspectives from the field and implications for organizations

An examination of equitable and inclusive work environments in environmental education with perspectives from the field and analysis of implications for organizations.

Connecting Environmental Justice and Environmental Literacy to Education

A report by Ten Strands on a workshop held in 2020 on linking environmental justice and environmental literacy.

School’s Out(side): Can California teach an understanding of the natural world to every K-12 schoolkid in the state?

 A 2019 Bay Nature Magazine report on scaling environmental literacy to all K-12 students in California.

The Environmental Justice Movement

A 2016 overview by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the environmental justice movement in the United States.

Social Justice Resources for Sustainability-Minded Educators

A selection of social justice resources compiled by Green Schools National Network that educators can apply to their sustainability curriculum, as well as their teaching practice.

News and Events

Green School Conference: Summit for Educators
Feb. 12-13, 2021 Center for Green Schools

Connect with other classroom educators to share practical steps to integrating sustainability education into classroom content and daily practice, engaging students in learning and in making positive change in their communities.

Teaching About Climate and Energy with CLEAN
Feb. 16, 2021 CLEANet

This webinar introduces the Climate and Energy Literacy Principles and how they are integrated with the CLEAN collection of climate and energy resources.

Climate Video Challenge
Deadline Mar. 31, 2021 California Coastal Commission

The California Coastal Commission invites California middle and high school students to present a video response to the question: what does climate justice look like to me?

Life-saving drinking water disinfectants have a “dark side”
Jan. 15, 2021 Ensia

Disinfecting drinking water against pathogens is necessary, but by-products from the process are a ubiquitous — and likely growing — problem across the U.S. Solutions exist, though.

Push to make climate change education part of school curriculum
Jan. 23, 2021 BusinessTech

An international campaign to make climate change education compulsory in all schools – to support the growth of the green economy – is attracting backing from a growing range of organisations in more than 100 countries…

Biden has pledged to advance environmental justice – here’s how the EPA can start
Jan. 25, 2021 The Conversation

On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies…

Tens of Millions of Birds Pass Through Just Two Western U.S. Corridors
Jan. 27, 2021 Yale Environment 360

California’s Central Valley and the Colorado River Delta host more than 82 million birds every year during the spring migration, according to a new study published in the journal Ornithological Applications. The findings highlight the regions as critical corridors for conservation, with up to 80 percent of some species’ populations passing through the two areas…

Chemists are reimagining recycling to keep plastics out of landfills
Jan. 27, 2021 Science News

Too much of today’s plastic is impossible to recycle…

The U.S. commits to tripling its protected lands. Here’s how it could be done.
Jan. 27, 2021 National Geographic

In a new executive order, the president promised to protect 30 percent of U.S. land and 30 percent of U.S. oceans by 2030.

Biden to place environmental justice at center of sweeping climate plan
Jan. 28, 2021 The Washington Post

The president plans far-reaching actions to cut carbon emissions, aid polluted communities and shift the nation away from fossil fuels. The administration will treat climate change ‘as the emergency that it is,’ one top adviser says.

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