My New Perspective on Environmental Justice

My New Perspective on Environmental Justice

The talk by Ms. Catherine Flowers was very interesting and insightful. I really learned a lot about environmental justice (EJ) and I realized that I would like to be involved in environmental justice issues more than I thought I would. Before her talk, I was thinking that advocacy wouldn’t be my strength because one would ideally be outgoing, charismatic, and very passionate about their work. I am very reserved, shy, and not very outgoing and expressive unless I’m with people that I know. I figured that I wouldn’t be interested in EJ work for this reason, but Ms. Catherine changed my mind about it because I feel that it is work that is very important and can really be rewarding. I learned that EJ advocates may engage in more than the social aspect of advocacy– they collaborate with people in different areas of expertise to conduct research. They get to learn the science behind the environmental issues that they deal with.

In regards to the social aspect of EJ, and any cause in general, Ms. Catherine really highlighted the importance of communicative skills. Relatability, being able to effectively communicate with people with different perspectives and values than you, is very important in raising awareness of issues that are contentious, like climate change. Another important skill is being able to converse with people such that you aren’t simply imposing opinions and ideas onto them but are getting them to think on their own and ultimately come to their own conclusions (that are ideally the conclusions that you think that they should come to).

I’ve already known that it is important to include the less privileged in the conversations and efforts to better design nature’s future, but now I believe this more strongly. More work should be done to figure out the populations and places in our own country that have been left behind and ensure that we work to design a more sustainable and equal future that can apply to all.

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