description

The cascading and interlaced effects of COVID-19, climate change, systemic racism, and dramatic inequity within and between countries are now in high relief. The Reaching for Just Transition Seminar Series brings people together to build understanding of the problems that need to be addressed, to develop ways of thinking and speaking about related injustices, and to strategize what needs to be done going forward. 

Labor organizers began speaking in terms of “just transition” in the 1980s, reaching for ways around claims that people had to choose between good jobs and environmental protection. Today, there is accelerating recognition that investment in both environmental protection and new ways of organizing the economy will be critical to inclusive prosperity. Renewed calls for just transition speak to this. During the events, panelists and seminar participants will address four questions: 

  • What forms of injustice do you see in this case? 

  • What do you think should be done in response to the injustices in this case (beyond what may seem achievable in practice)? 

  • What organizational, political, and legal strategies do you think should be prioritized – within countries, and across borders? 

  • What ideas do you have for sustaining and continuing to build the collective of people brought together here to work toward just transitions? 

Much work remains to be done to figure out what just transition looks like on the ground, in different settings. Join us for dialogue with labor and community organizers, researchers, clergy, and others reaching for this.

Lead organizers: Tim Schütz  (tschuetz@uci.edu) Kim Fortun (kfortun@uci.edu).

Session 1

Date & Time

Thu, March 3, 2022

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM PST

RSVP

The event will be held in a hybrid format:

Directions for attending in person

Location: Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517 (Google Maps).

Parking: Social Science Parking Structure (Google Maps).

Panelists

Event Description

There is an urgent need for green jobs, production processes, and products. Companies in various sections have stepped forward with promises to lead the way, often making “green” a key part of their brand and advertising. In many cases, however, promises don’t match practices: workplaces and products are still toxic, often spilling over into the communities where companies operate. This seminar will focus on these contradictions in the operations of Kingspan, a green materials company headquartered in Ireland, with manufacturing facilities around the world. Panelists will include Kingspan workers, union organizers, and community activists in Santa Ana, California. 

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Session 2

Date & Time

Thu, March 3, 2022

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PST

RSVP

The event will be held in a hybrid format:

Directions for attending in person

Location: Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517 (Google Maps).

Parking: Social Science Parking Structure (Google Maps).

PANELISTS

Event Description

Despite rising concerns about pollution and climate change, the global petrochemical industry is expanding, in part because of the shale gas boom, which also has caused widespread environmental harms. This tangle of developments has impacted communities around the world, calling for coordinated action across geography, generation and issue areas.

This seminar will focus on harms caused by the operations of Formosa Plastics Corporation in Taiwan, Vietnam and the United States, focusing on coastal communities. Panelists include people who have spent years working to address these harms in different ways. 

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