Just By Nature: Environmental Justice on the Third Coast The Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project’s 2016 Distinguished Environmental Justice Organizer Series

The Loundy Human Rights Project is very excited to announce our third annual environmental rights distinguished speaker series.

Oct 5, 4:00-5:30 pm. “Reconnecting to and Honoring the Land: Indigenous Perspectives on Current EJ Challenges.” Joseph Standing Bear Schranz, President, Midwest SOARRING (Save Our Ancestors’ Remains and Resources Indigenous Network Group) Foundation. Joseph Standing Bear Schranz (Ojibwe) is President of Midwest SOARRING foundation and one of Illinois’ most visible activists on Native American issues. He has been working for indigenous rights and environmental justice across North America for over 5 decades.

Oct. 19, 4:00-5:30 pm. “The Displacement of Environmental Justice.” Kimberly Wasserman, Organizing and Strategy Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. Kimberly Wasserman, a native of Little Village, is a 2013 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for leading the successful lobbying campaign for the passage of the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance that resulted in the closing of the Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plants. She now spearheads LVEJO’s community organizing efforts to build community rootedness, increase access to greenspace, improve public transportation, and hold accountable those responsible for remaining toxic sites in the neighborhood. She has been with LVEJO since 1998.

November 2, 4:00-5:30 pm. “Deindustrialisation, Reindustrialization, and Sustainable Alternatives on Chicago’s Southeast Side.” Cheryl Johnson (President, People for Community Recovery), Peggy Salazar (Board Member and past Director, Southeast Environmental Task Force), and Tom Shepherd (past President, Southeast Environmental Task Force). Cheryl Johnson is longtime president of People for Community Recovery, one of the nation’s oldest environmental justice organizations working in communities of color, and the daughter of Hazel Johnson, who has been called “the mother of the US Environmental Justice movement.” Tom Shepherd is the current President and longest serving board member at the Southeast Environmental Task Force on Chicago’s far-southeast side -an area where steel once was king, and where there is an abundance of environmental degradation, garbage dumps, and contaminated land. Tom’s background as an activist and community organizer brought him to to his work to cure some of those environmental ills in the region. SEETF’s current campaigns include stopping the Koch Brothers’ profligate transport and irresponsible management of petcoke on the Calumet River. Peggy Salazar is a board member and also past Director of SETF and has been advocating for social and environmental change and clean, just, economic development on the Southeast Side of Chicago for decades. The Task Force is currently a leader in the movement to create a green economic corridor in the Calumet region.

December 7, 2:30-4:30 pm. “Northern Exposure: Student International Research Panel Reports Back.” Fall 2014 Loundy Project Human Rights Scholars report back from their comparative trip to the Pacific Northwest, where they will have met with advocates, activists, and scholars in British Columbia and Olympic National Park. Vancouver is already the continent’s greenest city. What comparative lessons does the struggle for environmental justice in the Pacific Northwest offer Chicago?

All Events will take place in the Sullivan Room, 2nd Floor, Auditorium Bldg. Light refreshments will be served. For more information please contact Bethany Barratt, bbarratt@roosevelt.edu.

About Bethany Barratt

Dr. Barratt earned her PhD from the University of California in 2002, and her BA in Political Science/History from Duke University in 1994. She is Director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, which joins forces with community partners in Chicago and cities abroad to draw and apply comparative lessons to make measurable gains in respect for human rights in urban settings. Professor Barratt has conducted archival and field research in Yellowstone National Park, Central Asia, the UK, Canada, and Australia. She is author or editor of several books including “Human Rights and Foreign Aid” (Routledge, 2007), "The Politics of Harry Potter" (Palgrave McMillan, 2012), and coeditor o "Public Opinion and War: Lessons from Iraq" (Potomac, 2012). She has also authored articles on environmental politics and justice, conservation policy, human rights, foreign aid, US, British, Canadian, and Australian foreign policy, and counterterrorism, in Political Research Quarterly, The Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and edited volumes from Ashgate and Lexington Books. Besides her teaching experience at Roosevelt and the University of California, she has also taught in a number of jails and prisons. She is an officer or member of several scholarly associations including the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.
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