MISSION

The Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) at Clark Atlanta University was formed in 1994 to serve as a research, policy, and information clearinghouse on issues related to environmental justice, race and the environment, civil rights and human rights, facility siting, land use planning, brownfields, transportation equity, suburban sprawl and smart growth, energy, global climate change, and climate justice. The overall goal of the center is to assist, support, train, and educate people of color students, professionals, and grassroots community leaders with the goal of facilitating their inclusion into the mainstream of decision-making. The center is multi-disciplinary in its focus and approach. It serves as a bridge among the social and behavioral sciences, health professionals, natural and physical sciences, engineering, management, and legal disciplines to prevent and solve environmental and health problems. The center's programs build on the work that it staff has been engaged in for over two decades.

STAFF

The EJRC operates with a small core staff, undergraduate and graduate research assistants, and faculty associates from across the university. Visit the Staff page at EJRC Staff.

OBJECTIVES

  • To develop three-way partnerships among "impacted" communities, environmental justice groups, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority academic institutions (HBCU/MAI);
  • To increase the quality and quantity of environmental, health, land use, economic development, transportation, energy, and global climate change research and policy information available to community leaders;
  • To link via the internet people of color groups, organizations, institutions, networks that are working on environmental justice, sustainable and livable communities, equitable development, public health, climate change, and related areas;
  • To assist community groups and other stakeholders in implementing benchmarks they have set for themselves;
  • To facilitate the development of mechanisms, policies, and procedures for the inclusion of people of color, impacted communities, and underrepresented groups into public decision making.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

Archives. The EJRC serves as a national archive for environmental justice artifacts, including audio and video tapes, documentary films, photographs, slides, maps, and related materials. The center receives numerous requests for its photographs (dating back to the late 1970s) and graphics materials that traces the historical roots of national environmental justice. Many of these items are sought publication in popular and scientific articles, newspapers, periodicals, and books.

Annotated Bibliography. The center maintains an annotated bibliography on the major articles, monographs, books, reports, and other publications on environmental justice, race and the environment, facility siting, environmental justice and the law, etc.

Community-Driven Policy Research. Research is major component of the EJRC's mission. Much of this research is guided by the needs identified by low-income and people of color community leaders. Examples of research areas addressed at the EJRC include: Public participation, community impact assessment, healthy and sustainable communities, children environmental health, housing and urban revitalization, brownfields, transportation equity, regional growth and suburban sprawl, social equity and civil rights, redlining and urban disinvestments, gentrification and displacement, and smart growth, disaster response, and climate justice.

Community Outreach. The EJRC provide technical outreach services and networking activities to community based organizations. The staff provides support in proposal writing, press releases and briefings, public hearings, and expert testimony (written and oral) in citizens complaints and legal cases.

Conference Center. The EJRC plans, coordinates, and hosts major conferences that address issues on a range of topics, including environmental justice, transportation, community revitalization, healthy and sustainable communities, suburban sprawl, etc.

GIS Research and Training. The EJRC conducts research and training classes using Geographic Information System (GIS) and facilitates technical assistance and community access to health and environmental data sets, Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), and other databases.

Lecture Series. The center participates in and plans an Annual Lecture Series. The lecture series highlight cutting-edge research, books, and other works by people of color.

Media Center and Video Production. The EJRC in conjunction with CAU-TV produces education al and training videos. The videos are used by government, nongovernmental organizations, and educational institutions. This component involves working in conjunction with students, faculty, and staff at CAU-TV and the university's Mass Communication Department.

Policy Advisory Team. The Policy Advisory Team is a national "think tank" of environmental justice scholars, researchers, and other leaders drawn from around the country from impacted communities, community based organizations, civil rights and legal groups, academia, the scientific community, and public health sector. The Policy Advisory Team issues policy statements, position papers, and briefings. It also convenes roundtables and working groups as the need arises.

Publications and Document Production. The EJRC publishes newsletters, proceedings, and reports. It staff has also written and or edited a number of important books that address housing, urban disinvestments, environmental racism, transportation equity, costs and consequences of suburban sprawl, and race and the city. The EJRC books can be ordered on line or from major booksellers. The center also conducts a national survey of colleges and universities to retrieve environmental justice course offerings, syllabi, student research, and community projects in a wide range of disciplines such as environmental studies, sociology, political science, urban planning, land use, housing, law, public health, geography, business, natural resources, transportation, public administration, waste management, pollution prevention, risk assessment, occupational health and safety, and international affairs, etc.

Resource Directory and Database. The EJRC maintains a comprehensive directory and database of people of color environmental groups in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. The database also includes environmental, legal, health, transportation, housing, labor, and other organization that work on environmental and economic justice issues.

Telesurveys. A major component of environmental justice research involves opinion polls and attitude surveys. The EJRC conducts surveys on a wide range of issues to assist in assessing community needs. An array of social and behavioral sciences are brought to bear (via opinion research) on the full range of societal issues.

Training Institute. The EJRC is designed to reach an audience that historically has been underrepresented in environmental education, training and technology transfer, and environmental policy formulation. It focuses on building, linking, supporting, and strengthening collaboration among diverse stakeholders (i.e., academia, community, government, civil rights and social justice groups, religious community, business, and organized labor. The Training institute develops education curricula, training modules, workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Vitabank and Speakers Clearinghouse. The center maintains a database of people of color professionals and technical advisors from a wide array of disciplines for referrals, hearings, expert witnesses, written testimony, report evaluation, conferences and seminar speakers, peer review panels, and scientific advisory boards.