Whitney Smith

Originally published: 
June, 2017

Meet Whitney Smith: graduate student ­– Master of Science, Class of 2016
Field of study: Environmental Justice

What did you do before you came to SEAS?
I earned my BA in environmental studies at Wellesley College, then I taught food justice and garden education in several African Centered Schools in Detroit.

Why did you choose to study Environmental Justice at SEAS?
I am passionate about environmental justice. I chose to study Environmental Justice at SEAS because it gives me the opportunity to work at the intersection of my interests in critical race theory, food justice, ethobotany of the African diaspora, and the environment. I also appreciate the flexibility that SEAS has provided to create my own path of study. I've used this opportunity to take classes in the Department of AfroAmerican and African Studies, Urban Planning, and the School of Social Work.

How do you take your passion beyond your studies?
I really enjoy serving as one of the Environmental Justice field of study track leaders and a graduate student research assistant (GSRA). I've had the opportunity work as a GSRA on the Food Access in Michigan study during the duration of my time at SEAS. I am also involved with several of Michigan’s Arts and Citizenship Programs where I participated in the Institute for Social Change and am currently an Engaged Pedagogy Fellow.

What do you when you're not busy saving the planet?
Beyond academics, I love dancing! I'm a member of Rowe Niodior, a West African Dance Company located in Detroit.