Justice Agendas for Addressing Environmental Crisis
This course will enable students to
1) master conceptual and ethical frameworks,
2) build networks and communities of practice with alumni and leaders in the field, and
3) channel that learning into creating modules for classroom and continuing education for smarter, more equitable and accountable sustainability work.
The course is an experimental collaboration among learners, visitors, and faculty in our program. It will anchor a cross disciplinary certificate in Environmental Justice that includes experts from fields as wide ranging as Ecology, Engineering, and Environmental Humanities and Law. It offers a concrete model of mentorship among faculty and researchers, with conscious attention to gaps and silences in our curriculum at UMSEAS, and in the emerging Sustainability Science field more widely.
Rotational responsibility for hosting and introducing our speakers will help students hone skills in communication for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in any group (from acknowledgements of UM’s foundation on indigenous lands, to introductions of expert speakers, to facilitation of Q and A sessions in virtual learning environments). This can be done individually, or in collaboration. As a final deliverable students will make short learning modules using speakers’ work as entry points where student personal interests align. This will enhance writing, curation of digital media, uses of online platforms, synthesis of data and disciplinary knowledges, and critical thinking skills, as well as reinforcing familiarity with the content and theory shared by leading EJ researchers. Final products will be featured as deliverables from the course in an open access library on www.learngala.com for use in other classrooms and settings. These “beta version” modules will be due on Gala by December 20, but need not yet be in publically viewable for that deadline, and in fact might be test driven in the winter version of this course, with other students. Enrolled students will receive a grade based on points earned by their participation on feedback for others (30%) their leadership/commentary for a module/speaker (30%) and the beta module draft (40%).
We hope to be an intimate working group, but when visitors come to speak our course meetings will be open to a much wider public of UMSEAS community members, EJ enthusiasts from other units on campus, and beyond. That means a very unusual rhythm, not unlike that in the ConEco seminar series.