The Environmental Justice concentration includes the study of justice, discrimination, morality, equality, human rights, property rights, democracy, transparency, compensation, vulnerability, and susceptibility. These topics are important guides for creating just and equitable solutions that benefit the environment, resource sustainability, human health and well-being. Economic development and environmental policies have often avoided the plight of susceptible populations: the poor, homeless, unemployed, migrants, those who are stateless, the very young, the elderly, and the ill. All of these topics may be appropriate for a specialization in environmental justice.
Additional focal topics of this field include: disproportionate minority group exposures to polluted air and water; degraded lands; contaminated foods; racial discrimination in institutional policies and practices; deliberate neglect of minority group environments; unequal opportunities for access to clean air, drinking water, safe and nutritious food, affordable housing, affordable health care, and quality education; the exploitation and abuse of immigrant labor and their families; the absence of rights to participate in corporate, governmental, and NGO decision-making affecting their environments and health; and confiscation of property rights without consent or compensation.
Courses in the concentration provide a path for fulfilling the Human Rights Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program or for completing a double-major in Environmental Studies and any one of several related fields in the social sciences or humanities.
Students interested in the Five-Year Program at YSE should explore courses in the People, Equity, and the Environment specialization.