Environmental Justice Tools of the 21st Century
As local environmental justice (EJ) issues have become increasingly prevalent in tandem with our growing global climate crisis, the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC) seeks to advance the use of online EJ screening tools and establish EJ policies for the state of Michigan. This research study sought to address the question, “What are the lessons that Michigan can learn regarding EJ screening tools?” There are two objectives of our research: a) to identify states that use state-specific EJ screening tools and understand how these tools are used in state-level decision-making; and b) to utilize data from our informational interviews to roadmap best practices of development and implementation to serve communities in Michigan. Following initial review of reports within their respective agencies, we conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with EJ advocates, activists, university academics, and others from the states of Washington, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, and California. The data acquired from these interviews were examined using the qualitative analysis software NVIVO 12 Plus. From our analysis, we derived several themes concerning EJ screening tools that were common between states, including: understanding of EJ, current and future use of screening tools, limitations, resistance, and measures of success. The results of this research will inform the most efficient and inclusive processes of developing EJ screening tools in Michigan.
Molly Blondell, MS (EJ); Wakako Kobayashi, MS (BEC, EJ); Bryan Redden, MS (, EJ); Arianna Zrzavy, MS (EJ)