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272.2 sec. 1 - Environmental Justice (Fall 2011)
Instructor: Michelle Wilde Anderson (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Meeting Time: F 10:00-12:40
Meeting Location: 240
Course Start: August 26, 2011
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49829
This course will commence with an introduction to environmental justice as a social movement, including its central substantive concerns (the needs of humans in the built environment rather than the need to protect the environment from humans) and its methods (community-based political organizing rather than professionalized judicial or legislative action). The bulk of the course will then pursue a broader conception of environmental justice today by using social science research, theory, and case studies to investigate three civil rights themes in environmental safety and natural resources. First, we'll cover land safety: toxic exposure and public health disparities stemming from the disproportionate siting of locally-unwanted land uses in neighborhoods of color. Second, the course will consider the use of and access to natural resources and basic services, including clean water, wastewater disposal, and open space. Our third and final theme will be vulnerability to natural disaster: the disproportionate exposure to flooding, mudslides, and other natural harms in high poverty communities due to, inter alia, infrastructure investment, land costs, and housing segregation. Each unit will cover the nature and scope of the problem, major theoretical ideas, and strategies for reform. In addition, each unit will feature a legal reform effort (including community organizing, litigation, and legislative approaches), from a specific place. At least one case study will focus on Native American tribal land.
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A reader will be used in this class.
Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.