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The Environmental Justice and Sustainability Research Toolbox

Module 1: Foundation of EJ and Sustainability

Key Topics to Engage in Module:

  1. Overview of mixed-methods research and why we do it
  2. Why mixed-methods research, with transdisciplinary approach, is important for addressing environmental justice issues

Module Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module, you will:

  • Identify pressing environmental injustices -- and how these intersect with other forms of injustice/oppression (racial justice, economic inequity).
  • Describe environmental justice as a social movement, interdisciplinary academic field, and public health concern.
  • Explain & provide examples/models/framework for "sustainability".
  • Explain why mixed methods and transdisciplinary approaches are well suited for addressing these complex topics.

Module Details

Watch the above video on "Pollution is Segregated"

  •  Ask, What is the role of research in understanding an issue such as pollution at the neighborhood level? What research methods were needed to have the data that Professor Bullard mentions in the video?

Ideas for In-class Activities & Assignments

Group Assignment:

  • Read this article and then, using data on your local community form the American Community Survey (geography tab), identify two neighborhoods to apply the article's assessment tool in grocery stores in those communities. Bring the data back to class for discussion (secondary data analysis, non-participant observation).

Library-Based Assignment:

  • Pick a specific topic that interests you in environmental justice, find research articles about the topic using your library's database, and write a short summary of the research methods used in each article/research study. Then, imagine you were to design your own study based on the topic -- what methods would you combine to best study your topic?