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Photo: Stewart, I. T., Bacon, C. M., & Burke, W. D. (2014). The uneven distribution of environmental burdens and benefits in Silicon Valley's backyard. Applied Geography, 55, 266-277.

  • Our Vision

    The Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative fosters community-driven research and learning for environmental and social justice.

  • Our Mission

    We conduct research and provide training, resources, and networking to support community-driven research and educational partnerships for environmental justice among community organizations, Santa Clara University faculty and students, and other academic institutions in Northern California and Jesuit higher education.

  • Our Contributions

    The Initiative is uniquely positioned to:

    • Strengthen environmental justice in the Silicon Valley and South Bay.
    • Build stronger links between Catholic social ministry and grassroots environmental justice organizations.
    • Spread a community-driven, participatory approach to environmental justice education and research among Jesuit higher education institutions in the United States and globally.
  • Our Inspirations

    We draw inspiration from global movements for environmental justice and how they have been strengthened by respectful, collaborative educational and research partnerships between communities and scholars.

    The Principles of Working Together recognize that community organizations have expertise and knowledge. Community organizations should seek out opportunities to work in partnerships with academic institutions, other grassroots organizations and environmental justice lawyers to build capacity through the resources of these entities.
    - First People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, Principles of Environmental Justice

    If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.  
    - Lilla Watson and Aboriginal Activists Group, Queensland

    We are also inspired by Jesuit and Catholic teaching that upholds environmental justice and community-engaged education and research.

    We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, at the same time protecting nature.
    - Pope Francis, Laudato Si’

    I propose that we become a major center for discussions of environmental justice, and for examining the ethical dimensions of how we treat the physical world. I see an immense opportunity for Santa Clara to champion environmental justice, and to do so explicitly for the sake of and alongside the poorest in our world.
    -Fr. Michael Engh, Presidential Inaugural Address, Santa Clara University

    To make sure that the real concerns of the poor find their place in research, faculty members need an organic collaboration with those in the Church and in society who work among and for the poor and actively seek justice. They should be involved together in all aspects: presence among the poor, designing the research, gathering the data, thinking through problems, planning and action, doing evaluation and theological reflection. 
    - Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Jesuits, Address at Santa Clara University

    We also seek to support and collaborate with other Jesuit institutions more effectively to pursue the Universal Apostolic Preferences:

    1. To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; 
    2. To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice; 
    3. To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future;
    4. To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.

    - Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, 2019-2029

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Contact Us

Environmental Justice & Common Good Initiative
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053