Add Justice, Equity and the Environment to the AUNE ES Department core course selections.

Add Justice, Equity and the Environment to the AUNE ES Department core course selections.

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Jamie Melvin started this petition to AUNE Faculty and

Justice, Equity, and the Environment must be added to the core course offerings for the entire ES department. AUNE must proactively support its mission statement by incorporating a course that supports and upholds the following statements from AUNE and the Environmental Studies department: 

“Our educational mission has always been focused on fostering social, economic, and environmental justice and for protecting and promoting the human rights of all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, color, ancestry, national origin, or other immutable characteristics.”

Environmental Studies Department mission statement: 

“Our commitment to promoting social, economic, and environmental justice is not new; our forty-plus year history of delivering visionary, progressive, and interdisciplinary programs will help you strengthen your capacity for collaboration and leadership while developing disciplinary depth and career skills needed to meet environmental challenges.”

The course requirements of the various concentrations within the Environmental Studies department don’t all allow students to take an ample amount of electives that reflect social, environmental, and economic justice. Justice, Equity, and the Environment is currently an elective for ES students of all concentrations. However, the information gained out of the course is something that is vital for all students within the ES department to learn. This course will teach students to view environmental science and studies through an interdisciplinary approach, encompassing environmental, economic, and social justice. It addresses the history behind our society’s structure, while also dissecting the interconnectedness of systematic oppression, and deliberate acts of those in power to keep marginalized communities marginalized and oppressed. This course also dives into the history of racism and segregation within the environmental science field and environmental movement within the US.

This is a necessary course for all ES students to take, not just the select few who this piques their interest. Without taking this course or adding it to the core course requirements, students may be lacking the tools to address issues of environmental sustainability and justice. We must dismantle systematic oppression; this course will allow students to become aware of their direct impact on the systems at play, while also providing them with the knowledge to address environmental justice issues as social justice issues. Social justice and science are intertwined. Teaching students philosophy from commonly celebrated environmental stewards like Grant, Thoreau, Leopold, and Audubon without addressing their past mistakes and blatant acts of racism, will further perpetuate the marginalization occurring in the environmental field, and the system will never be dismantled or properly addressed.

In order to uphold the mission of promoting progressive social justice-based learning, it is of the utmost importance to incorporate Justice, Equity, and the Environment as one of the core course offerings for the ES department. 

 

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