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The Science and Politics of Environmental Racism

AFAM 213
Spring 2012 not offered
Crosslisting: E&ES 170, ENVS 213
Certificates: Environmental Studies, Environmental Studies

This course will explore scientific, political, economic, and historical issues related to environmental racism. As scholars have documented in the last 15 years, people of color in all regions of the United States bear a disproportionate burden of the nation's environmental problems. Minority communities face higher concentrations of toxic waste sites and garbage dumps. They are subject to air and water pollution that can have serious health consequences, and they are often shut out of environmental decision-making processes. In response, communities across the country have mobilized to demand less polluted environments, more green space, and increased voice in decision making. This class will explore the topic of environmental racism from many different disciplinary perspectives, but with a particular focus on understanding the science of pollution and the historical and political dynamics that have helped produce toxic environments in minority communities. Students in the class, which will be team taught by an E&ES professor and an AFAM studies professor, will learn basic earth science practices related to measuring and analyzing contaminants; explore statistical data about race and health; study the emergence of environmental justice as a new civil rights issue; and examine the tensions between the traditional environmental movement and environmental justice activists. Two meetings a week will focus on lecture and discussion about the course materials; in a third weekly meeting, students will gain hands-on experience, with labs, field trips, and guest speakers. This class counts as an elective in earth and environmental sciences, environmental studies, and African American studies.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1.25 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM AFAM, SBS AFAM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS)

Last Updated on JUL-24-2024
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