On October 23, 5-6pm PDT, the Environmental Injustice Teaching Team will host a 1-hour virtual workshop. Participants will learn to use a research framework that examines many different factors that contribute to environmental problems (social, political, economic, biochemical, technological) in Santa Ana, California.
No prior experience with research or environmental data is expected. The workshop is designed for mutual learning.
The workshop is open to everyone, including researchers, teachers, students and community members. The goal is to create an opportunity to work together, leveraging different skills and easily accessible environmental data resources.
Part of the workshop will focus on ways local organizations like Orange County Environmental Justice can use data provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency and other sources to show how and where environmental injustice is happening in Santa Ana.
Kim Fortun is a Professor in the University of California Irvine’s Department of Anthropology. Her research and teaching focus on environmental risk and disaster, and on experimental ethnographic methods and research design. Her research has examined how people in different geographic and organizational contexts understand environmental problems, uneven distributions of environmental health risks, developments in the environmental health sciences, and factors that contribute to disaster vulnerability.
I am a Ph.D. researcher based at UC Irvine's Department of Anthropology. I work on science pedagogy and advocacy, focusing on environmental education and communication. As part of the Teaching Team, I am committed to learning about California communities and how the stresses and vulnerabilities these communities face have a transnational aspect.
I did my BSc (Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Delhi. I then did my MA in Environment and Development at Ambedkar University Delhi, an interdisciplinary field made by connecting ecological and statistical sciences, political ecology, environmental history, and development studies.
Kaitlyn Rabach is a third-year PhD researcher in Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, as well as a M.A. in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London.
Kaitlyn joined the Teaching Team in 2019 with a particular interest in collaborative pedagogy and teaching through place-based research. Her current project focuses on the intersections of Catholicism, (il)liberalism, and political participation in the Republic of Ireland.
Kaitlyn is currenlty based in Nesso, Italy. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggie Woodruff is a second-year PhD researcher in the Department of Anthropology and a 3L student in the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Maggie joined the Teaching Team in 2020 with an interest in collaborative community research and practice, ecological law, and the regulation of public space. Her current project focuses on the construction/placing/governance of unsheltered people in public, and the related practice of public interest law.
Maggie is currenlty based in Southern California. Contact: email@example.com
Tim Schütz is a second-year PhD researcher in Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He studied Communication, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen and Bahcesehir University Istanbul. He also holds an MA in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Goethe University Frankfurt.
Tim joined the Teaching Team in 2019 with a particular interest in teaching civic environmental data, including mapping and visualization techniques. As a member of the Design Team for the Platform for Collaborative Ethnography (PECE), he focuses on project architecture and coordinating community outreach.
Tim is currenlty based in Taipei, Taiwan. Contact: tschuetz [at] uci.edu
The workshop will have three parts:
5:00–5:15pm | The UCI Teaching Team shares what we have learned about environmental injustice in Orange County so far (for example through our students’ case study research and OCEJ’s community-based research on lead)
5:15–5:45pm | In breakout groups, we will quickly build an environmental justice case study for Santa Ana, drawing in different things people know about the community
5:45–6:00pm | Groups briefly report back and think together about the next steps for building a case study and lively archive.
The workshop will be discussion based, drawing on community knowledge and a range of interactive civic data resources. All are welcome. The more perspectives we have, the better case study we can build!
To guide our discussion, the workshop will focus on the ten analytical questions below:
1) What is the setting of this case?
2) What environmental threats (from worst case scenarios, pollution and climate change) are there in this setting?
3) What intersecting factors -- social, cultural, political, technological, ecological -- contribute to environmental health vulnerability and injustice in this setting?
4) Who are stakeholders, what are their characteristics, and what are their perceptions of the problems?
5) What have different stakeholder groups done (or not done) in response to the problems in this case?
6) How have environmental problems in this setting been reported on by media, environmental groups, companies and government agencies?
7) What local actions would reduce environmental vulnerability and injustice in this setting?
8) What extra-local actions (at state, national or international levels) would reduce environmental vulnerability and injustice in this setting and similar settings?
9) What kinds of data and research would be useful in efforts to characterize and address environmental threats in this setting and similar settings?
10) What, in your view, is ethically wrong or unjust in this case?
Through the workshop, participants will learn to identify different tactics and strategies -- local, state and national -- that can help address environmental injustice, contributing to advocacy work. The UCI Teaching Team will also bring what is developed back to UCI, using the case study to help students understand environmental injustice in very local terms. If there is interest, additional workshops can be planned to keep working together and building out the Santa Ana case. We would welcome collaboration with K-12 teachers, for example, or sessions focused specifically on possible actions at the county level.
The collaborative case study approach to understanding and strategizing against environmental injustice was developed at UCI in a lower-division undergraduate course taught by Prof. Kim Fortun, Kaitlyn Rabach, Tim Schütz, Maggie Woodruff, Prerna Srigyan, titled “Environmental Injustice” (EiJ). We hope to use the course to draw students into work to move beyond environmental injustice. We are always especially happy to have students and community members from Orange County.
See below for material produced by students in the course.