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SCU Events

  • SCU Events 

  • April 5 and 11, 2024
    SCU Faculty & Staff Explore Collaborations with the Initiative

    In April, the Initiative hosted two meetings for over 20 SCU faculty and staff members to discuss how they could link their research and teaching to environmental justice and community-engaged research. Small-group discussions focused on the Initiative’s professional development opportunities and research grants, finding potential research partners at SCU and among community organizations, and ideas for collaborative grant proposals. Find our new list of affiliated faculty and staff on our website!

  • June 1, 2023, Santa Clara University
    Initiative Wins SCU Sustainability Innovation Champion Award

    SCU’s Center for Sustainability recognized the Initiative with its Sustainability Innovation Champion award for organizing our spring conference on Climate and Environmental Justice. The annual award honors those who are “leading a transformative program that significantly contributes to Santa Clara University's culture of sustainability.” In her remarks introducing the award, Alison Benders, Vice President of Mission and Ministry, commended the conference organizing committee for a “deep commitment to justice [that] anchors their vision for Climate Justice work generally – justice that includes full participation of those affected by climate change, a fair distribution of responsibilities and benefits at every level of our communities, and care for our common home. She added that the Initiative’s members “have put this vision of justice into action by the most recent Climate Justice conference, as well as through years of relationship building, community research, partnered climate action, and teaching and advocacy.” Thanks to the Center for Sustainability and to Vice-President Benders for their support for the conference and frequent collaboration with the Initiative on joint programs and projects!

  • February 23, 2022, Santa Clara University
    Environmental Justice and the Reid-Hillview Airport in East San José

    Tony LoPresti, Assistant County Counsel, County of Santa Clara  and Maricela Lechuga, Cassel Neighborhood Association & Close Reid Hillview Airport Now! Coalition, discussed environmental justice issues surrounding Reid-Hillview Airport in East San José.  Although leaded fuel was banned in automobiles over 25 years ago, leaded aviation gasoline remains completely unregulated, and accounts for 70% of leaded air pollution nationwide. Childhood lead exposure can cause irreversible cognitive impairment, harm academic performance, and increase risk for behavioral disorders and adult-onset health problems.  In response, the County of Santa Clara banned the sale of leaded fuel at Reid-Hillview and its other airport. The Federal Aviation Administration initiated an investigation of the County and signaled that it would try to block the ban on leaded fuel in court.  On January 12, 2022, EPA made a milestone announcement stating that it would begin the years-long process of issuing regulations. The Initiative co-hosted this event with the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

  • February 16, 2022, Santa Clara University
    SCU Environmental Justice Research Panel

    Recipients of the Initiative’s research grants shared their work in progress. Lee Panich and Monica Arellano presented ““Collaborative Research with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe: Reclaiming Traditional Ecological Knowledge from Anthropological Fieldnotes.” Jamie Chang, CJ Gabbe, Morayo Kamson, and David Seo presented “Heat Risk and Silicon Valley’s Unhoused Residents.” Molly King, Maria Gregg, and Ana Martinez presented “How do People with Disabilities Learn about Climate Change?”

    >> watch the video

  • October 14, 2021, Santa Clara University
    Law Law Law: Climate justice legislation worth singing about

    The Initiative’s Zsea Bowmani with Shelby Coyne of SCU School of Law presented on climate law cases that are making a difference in combating global warming, calling out environmental injustices, and decelerating ecological collapse.

    >> watch the video

  • October 12, 2021, Santa Clara University
    Connecting Collective Actions for Food Justice

    The Initiative’s Chris Bacon and Lauren Ornelas of San Jose's Food Empowerment Project discussed how activists and academics engage with ethics, rights, sustainability, culture, and plant-based diets as food systems change during the climate crisis. The Food Empowerment Project presented their  many community programs from farmworker and food justice to grocery store campaigns with a special focus on vegan diets and chocolate. They mentioned how SCU campus researchers have analyzed the role of food in contributing to global warming, and the ways that social and environmental justice intermingle. They taught how to act and organize to access more culturally-relevant food offerings and environmental justice outcomes in school, community and the world.

  • October 11, 2021, Santa Clara University
    Just not enough or not just enough? Water distribution under climate change

    Iris Stewart-Frey shared case studies and discussed the equity of sharing water resources as water grows scarce and demand grows. How can we think about equity and what are potential solutions? The presentation started discussing California but later expanded to other regions.  


  • October 2, 2021, Santa Clara University
    The Water Project

    A public talk by Dr. Iris Stewart-Frey (Environmental Science) and Dr. Ed Maurer (Civil Engineering). Discussed the concepts of water and climate justice using the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area as an example. This talk was followed by a presentation on the disparate impacts of climate change on global communities. The talk ended with some ideas how to become active for greater water and climate justice. Professors Stewart-Frey and Maurer are faculty collaborative member of the Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative

  • April 19, 2021, Santa Clara University
    Poster on Student Food Security and Sovereignty at Santa Clara University

    Under the guidance of Christopher Bacon, three undergraduate students Chloe Gentile-Montgomery '21 (Environmental Science and Ethnic Studies), Julia Jenak '21 (Environmental Science), and Ben Grundy '21 (Environmental Science and Political Science) presented their research on student food and housing insecurity as well as efforts to build food sovereignty at SCU.

  • April 23, 2021
    Agroecology, food justice, and food systems change at SCU

    Chris Bacon and 8 research students were featured in a research session on un/common good students’ voices on agroecology, food justice, and food systems change at SCU.

    2021 Food Justice Research Presentation

    >>watch the video

  • April 22, 2021
    An Evening of Law & Climate Justice With SCU’s Environmental Law Society

    ELS, tUrn and EJ&CGI worked together to bring: “An Evening of Law & Climate Justice”. This event featured a panel discussion on national environmental law issues followed by a panel led by members of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice to who discussed local issues!

    Below you can view a list of the panelists, including the Initiative's Zsea Bowmani: 

    Panel 1- National Climate Justice Discussion With: Veronica Eady, Rob Verchick and Jennifer Ganata

    Panel 2- Local Climate Justice Discussion With: Bradley Angel, Maricela Mares-Alatorre and Zsea Bowmani

    >>watch the video

  • April 19, 2021
    A Water is Life Panel: Indigenous People & Other Protectors

    The panel was moderated by Iris Stewart-Frey, with participants from Nigeria (Anthony Akpan, Pan-African Voices for Environment), Seattle, and SCU (Teresia Hinga, Founder Circle of Concerned African Women Theologian).

    >>watch the video

  • October 22, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Community-Engaged Research for Environmental Justice

    As part of SCU Library Open Access week, Chad Raphael discussed his forthcoming book with Martha Matsuoka (Occidental College), Community-Engaged Research for Environmental Justice, to be published by University of California Press - Luminos.  The book will expand on the research guide Raphael wrote for the Initiative’s 2019 conference. Chapters will be co-authored with early-career BIPOC researchers (including the Initiative’s Zsea Bowmani) to help expand and connect the community of environmental justice researchers. In the interest of making this work freely available, the book will be published open access.

  • November 16, 2020
    Gather: A film screening and talkback with the Director of the film, Sanjay Rawal

    Gather: A film screening in honor of Native American Heritage Month, followed by a talkback with the Director of the film, Sanjay Rawal.  Gather examines Native American reclaiming their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty. This event was cohosted by OML, ODI, The Forge Garden and The Environmental Justice and Common Good Initiative.


  • October 15, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Climate Justice

    Ed Maurer and Chad Raphael presented on climate justice and led a discussion for a panel organized for the tUrn project at SCU. Maurer discussed his role in the Initiative’s research on climate-induced drought’s impact on water and food security among smallholder farmers in Nicaragua. The discussion focused on the Climate Justice Alliance’s Just Transition Principles.

    >>See Climate Justice 2020 Slides

  • September 15, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Food Justice Program Congratulates Pauline Phuong Nguyen - Nancy Keil Service Excellence Award Winner in 2020!

    The Environmental Justice and Common Good Initiative congratulates Pauline Phuong Nguyen for her award given by the College of Arts and Sciences for her service. While her primary services have been to the Ethnic Studies Department, other Departments, Initiatives and so many students, have also benefited from her generosity.  In May 2020, Pauline responded to our Food Justice Program's call for help to serve Vietnamese gardeners in San Jose as part of a collective response to Covid 19, volunteering her translation services to help Valley Verde reach Vietnamise speaking communities in San Jose.  She translated multiple documents and a video, which is dedicated to building healthy and resilient communities by providing low-income families educational programs, edible gardens, and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities that create food security and lead to self-sufficiency.


  • September 14, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Law for the People: a Case Study of Community-Based Environmental Justice Advocacy

    Zsea Bowmani (’14 Law School), a National Lawyers Guild Weinglass Fellow, was a guest lecture in Professor Tseming Yang’s Environmental Protection Law class. In his role, Zsea provides legal expertise to two grassroots organizations working to challenge an upscale mega development that will add significant air pollution in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point, a low-income community of color already burdened with multiple pollution sources. Zsea is also working with Professor Yang to develop a multidisciplinary environmental justice legal clinic at SCU to engage students across various disciplines in similar community-based advocacy.

    2020.9.14 Environmental Protection Law Guest Lecture


  • August 27, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Webinar on climate change

    On August 27, the Law School’s Center for Global Law and Policy, Center for Social Justice and Public Service, and the High Tech Law Institute sponsored a webinar on climate change. Tseming Yang (Law School) moderated a lively panel of speakers from the Environmental Defense Fund; Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; and the Environmental Defender's Office in Sydney, Australia. The speakers were attorneys and scholars directly engaged in this work, and offered their thoughts and experiences on international climate negotiations, climate adaptation in the Mekong River Delta, and pending climate litigation in Australia.


  • June 1 st, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Seminar: How just is water allocation under drought in the SF Bay Area?

    ESS student Jackie Rogers (Env Sci '20) presented her research under a Hackworth Grant on the ethics of how we distribute water when water is short.  Participants heard from experts from water agencies and environmental groups and found out where Bay Area voters stand on conserving water for others and the environment. This seminar was co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, and the Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative. Jackie was mentored by Iris Stewart-Frey (ESS)



  • April 23, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Real Food Challenge: A Case Study

    In this online panel organized by the tUrn Project, SCU Food System Fellows Emma McCurry and Tyler Whittaker, advised by the Initiative’s Chris Bacon and Center for Sustainability Director Lindsey Kalkbrenner, shared their findings after analyzing 11,000 lines of data to assess the sustainability of SCU’s food sourcing and discussed plans to draw down global warming emissions one meal plan at a time


  • April 23, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Transformative Leadership In Agriculture, Education & Science Research

    Iris Stewart-Frey participated in an online panel organized by the SCU tUrn Project with Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers, and Nitzan Pelman, CEO and Founder of Climb Hire, an inclusive talent development firm.


  • March 3 and April 20, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Climate Justice

    Ed Maurer and Chad Raphael presented and led discussions on climate justice for the tUrn Climate Crisis Research Group of SCU faculty and staff, and for a tUrn-organized event for the wider SCU community.

    >>See Climate Justice 2020 Slides


  • February 25 2020, Santa Clara University
    Empowering Indigenous Peoples, Transforming University Teaching and Research

    Universities have long had rocky relationships with Indigenous peoples everywhere. Much current guidance on how to change these relationships is ultimately self-serving for the goals of universities. Such guidance sacrifices Indigenous peoples’ goals of building their own research and educational institutions and achieving their own self-determination. This presentation by Kyle Powys Whyte, the 2020 Austin J. Fagothey Visiting Chair in Philosophy, offered improved models for how Indigenous peoples and universities can collaborate, with a focus on partnerships on topics like environmental justice, climate change planning, and sustainability. Sponsored by SCU’s Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative and the Department of Anthropology.

    >>watch the video

  • January 22 and 23, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Building an SCU Working Group for Environmental Justice

    We convened SCU faculty and staff to introduce the Initiative, explore research collaborations with each other and with community organizations, and learn about the Initiative’s Small Grants Program to support faculty research (including with students).

    >>See SCU Working Group for EJ Slides

  • October 24, 2020, Santa Clara University
    No Ordinary Lawsuit: the Juliana case

    Tseming Yang, along with law professor Margaret Russell, SCU law students, and Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs, Philip Gregory (JD/MBA ’80) discussed the historic climate change lawsuit brought by youth.

  • October 18, 2019, Santa Clara University
    Who Pays? Environmental In/Justice

    Alumnae and former research assistant Déjà Thomas (‘16) discussed environmental justice in California, including Thomas’ action-oriented research on food justice, race, and transformative climate adaptation in Southern California. Like her SCU faculty mentor Christopher Bacon, Thomas was recently awarded a Switzer Fellowship. She is completing a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, as well as a Food Studies Certificate, at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.