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Climate Change from the Streets: How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement

October 8, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Michael Méndez
Assistant Professor
Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy
School of Social Ecology
University of California, Irvine


Although the science of climate change is clear, policy decisions about how to respond to its effects remain contentious. Even when such decisions claim to be guided by objective knowledge, they are made and implemented through political institutions and relationships — and all the competing interests and power struggles that this implies. Michael Méndez tells a timely story of people, place and power in the context of climate change and inequality. He explores the perspectives and influence low-income people of color bring to their advocacy work on climate change. In California, activist groups have galvanized behind issues such as air pollution, poverty alleviation, and green jobs to advance equitable climate solutions at the local, state, and global levels. Arguing that environmental protection and improving public health are inextricably linked, Méndez contends that we must incorporate local knowledge, culture and history into policymaking to fully address the global complexities of climate change and the real threats facing our local communities.


This event is part of the fall 2021 Climate & Health Seminar Series, in collaboration with the USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute and Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center. Click here for the Zoom link.


October 8, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health
USC Dornsife Equity Research Institute