Join SLS, and our campus and community partners, throughout the semester, as we continue to explore the theme of Environmental Justice.  What is "Environmental Justice?" Definitions and Resources

Please note the "special opportunities" sections under some events, specifically for students, faculty, and staff that are part of our affiliated courses and projects.  Keep checking back for updated information!

Attend THREE SLS events and get TWO FREE tickets to the Center for Civil and Human Rights!

MLK Day Service Project: Friends of Refugees, Clarkston, GA

Monday, Jan 16th; 8:00am - 3:00pm; Jolly Avenue Community Garden, Clarkston

Areas within this Clarkston neighborhood lie outside the Clarkston city limits and in the unincorporated county, and as a result there is a fundamental lack of any support for regular public maintenance.  Currently, the sidewalks and paths the children try to use to walk to and from school (both Indian Creek Elementary and Clarkston High School) have become nothing more than a pile of mud and pine needle detritus, a foot deep in places.  Join SLS, the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability - ATL (INSS-ATL), and our partners, Friends of Refugees, PURE, and the King Center for a special service project in a city just 30 minutes from Tech that Time magazine has called "the most diverse square mile in America."  GT students, faculty, and staff will work together with community partners and youth leaders in the refugee community to rebuild one of the central walking routes, as we highlight the larger struggle for transportation and pedestrian safety with our county leadership while modeling the act of taking responsibility for the immediate solution in the midst of seeking a permanent change. Lunch and transportation to and from the Tech campus will be provided. This event is part of the campus-wide MLK Day of Service.  Registration is required.

Race, Space, and Opportunity: A Tale of Two Regions     Structural Racism icon

Wednesday, Jan 18th; 6:30pm; Clary Theater, Student Success Center

Come join Partnership for Southern Equity as they launch their new report, "Opportunity Deferred: Race, Transportation, and the Future of Metro Atlanta."  This interactive convening will highlight key findings of the report.  A panel of key local and regional leaders will also assist in providing clarity on our region's challenges and opportunities for spatial and racial equity.

PSE: Opportunity Deferred: Race, Transportation, and the Future of Metropolitan Atlanta

VIDEO: Race, Space, and Opportunity

Provide Input into City of Atlanta's Resilience Plan from an Environmental Justice Lens

Wednesday, Jan 25th; 8:30am - 10:00am; Old City Council Chambers, Atlanta City Hall, 68 Mitchell Street entrance

The Integrated Network for Social Sustainability-GT invites you to participate in a 100 Resilient Cities Stakeholder Engagement Work Session with the City of Atlanta's new Chief Resilience Officer, Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield.  At the Work Session, the city would like to get your input on what you see as Atlanta's resilience opportunities and challenges, in order to inform the development and implementation of Atlanta's Resilience Strategy.  RSVP Required.

Directions to City Hall can be found here.  A map of the area can be found here.

Teaching Justice at Tech: A Conversation with Faculty     Structural Racism icon

Thursday, Jan 26th; 11:00am - 12:00pm; Clough Lounge (205Q)

Join professors Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Dan Amsterdam (History & Sociology), and Joe Brown (Civil & Environmental Engineering) for a conversation about the opportunities and challenges of teaching courses that integrate environmental and social justice issues into classroom learning at a technological institute.

A Screening of Ava DuVernay's 13th: Re-imagining a Restorative Justice System     Structural Racism icon

Thursday, Feb 2nd; 6:00pm - 9:00pm; Student Center Theater

Join us, along with our partners AASU, the Counseling Center, the Department of Housing, and Student Diversity Programs, for a screening of Ava DuVernay's 13th, and exploration of the history of the U.S. criminal justice system.  The screening will be followed by a panel discussion that will explore environmental justice, creative writing, and technology to imagine sustainable, community-centered alternatives to prison injustice.

Native Nations and Environmental Justice: The Dakota Access Pipeline Challenge

February 8th; 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Clary Theater, Student Success Center

The Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain is excited to welcome Dr. Joe Kalt, Co-Director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, and Rebecca Stratton, Program Director at the Native Governance Center, for a guest lecture and panel discussion examining the challenges that contemporary Native American tribes and nations face as they endeavor to rebuild their communities, strengthen their cultures, and support their citizens.  Following the lecture, the facilitated panel discussion will focus on the Dakota Access Pipeline project and the questions about political sovereignty, land/water rights, religious freedom, and health/social welfare that it raises.  This event is sponsored in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business.

Forecasting Climate Change's Impact on Energy, Sustainability, and Equity: Film Screeening of Leonardo DiCaprio's Before the Flood & Expert Discussion

Thursday, Feb 9th; 4:00pm - 6:45pm; Clary Theater, Student Success Center

Join us for a screening of Leonardo DiCaprio's Before the Flood, followed by an interactive discussion on the effects of climate change on the domestic and global landscape.  The event will be followed by a networking reception with panelists, industry representatives, and other attendees of the 4th Annual Energy Expo.  This event is part of the Energy Expo and registration is required.  Sponsored in partnership with Georgia Tech's Energy Club and the Strategic Energy Institute.

Arts@Tech Presents an Evening with Natasha Tsakos, creator of Billion Billions

Saturday, Feb 11th; 8:00pm - 10:00pm; Ferst Center for the Arts

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the work of resident art and technology innovator Natasha Tsakos, creator of Billion Billions.  As part of this audience, you will participate in the front end of the design process of Billion Billions, an immersive theatrical experience that bridges big data, science, and community engagement for good.  Participants will explore how the arts can serve as a bridge between understanding the issues of environmental justice and actually taking part in solutions that effect change.  Presented with the Interactive Media Technology Center and GVU. Dessert and coffee will be available before and during the event.  SLS has a limited number of complimentary tickets - contact us for more info (serve-learn-sustain@gatech.edu).

Faculty Talk: The Economics of Slavery, and Its Consequences by Juan Moreno-Cruz, Economics
Tuesday, Feb 21st; 11:00am - 12:00pm; Clough Lounge (205Q)  Structural Racism icon

Slavery is one of the most tragic institutions in human history.  It has caused intense pain to people and societies around the world.  What are the origins of this institution?  Why has it happened where it happened?  Economic history has taken a new causal approach to these questions trying to understand the fundamental forces that govern this institution.  This causal understanding allows economists to understand the effects of slavery in today's socio-economic outcomes.  In this lecture, Dr. Juan Moreno-Cruz presents some of the new insights developed in the last 10 years and highlights areas of future research. 

SOLAR FOR ALL: Opportunities for Equity & Expansion in Georgia

Thursday, Mar 2nd; 6:30pm - 8:30pm; The Commerce Club  (191 Peachtree Street, 49th Floor)

Do you ever wonder what tools are available to make solar installations accessible to everyone?  Join us for this discussion amongst industry professionals, business leaders, and community representatives that will dive into the world of solar power access.  We will assess the success of solarize programs around the state of Georgia and look towards finding solutions for the metro Atlanta area that will open up opportunities for as many markets and demographics as possible.  Presented in partnership with the US Green Building Council - GA, the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability - ATL (INSS-ATL), Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, the Commerce Club Foundation of Atlanta, and Georgia Tech's Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business.  RSVP Required. Please note that the Commerce Club requires Business Attire - no jeans, no athletic attire or shoes, no shorts.

The ReGenesis Project: Moving Spartanburg, SC from Surviving to Thriving

Friday, Mar 3rd; 11:30am - 1:00pm; Clough 102

Rep. Harold Mitchell will share his experience being exposed to environmental contamination and bringing people together to work collaboratively to envision and implement broad solutions towards creating visible change.  in 1997, he founded ReGenesis to help make sense of what he was discovering and to tackle what officials once called an "impossible task" of turning around neighborhoods impacted by numerous environmental concerns, blight, and hopelessness.  Sponsored in partnership with Spelman College and the U.S. EPA. RSVP REQUIRED (LUNCH PROVIDED).  Click here to read more about ReGenesis. Click here for directions and parking information.

VIDEO: Harold Mitchell presentation

Environmental Cleanup/Community Involvement ASB Trip on Florida's Gulf Coast

Mar 19th - 22nd (Spring Break); 7:30am (19th) - 9:00pm (22nd); 

The Office of International Education is excited to announce an Alternative Spring Break Service Project.  Open to all GT students, this trip will provide an opportunity to take part in Environmental Cleanup of oyster beds in Florida, engage with other students, and meet local members of the community in which the project is based. Sign up information and details will be available soon at oie.gatech.edu/springbreak.

Information Infrastructures for Environmental Justice: Guest Lecture by GT Alum Gwen Ottinger; Drexel University

Tuesday, Mar 28th; 4:00pm - 6:00pm; Clary Theater, Student Success Center 

Putting information in the hands of low-income and minority communities heavily burdened by environmental hazards has become a popular goal of grassroots, non-profit, and governmental initiatives alike.  Theories of environmental justice suggest that to be truly empowering, information infrastructures must do more than provide data; they need to offer community groups resources for making meaning of the data, and facilitate use of the data in collective action.  Existing, government-maintained platforms are limited in their ability to empower communities, but these limitations are being partially overcome by new platforms for data collection and reporting designed by researchers in collaboration with community groups.  These participatory design projects both suggest how government data infrastructures should be redesigned to foster EJ, and reveal inherent challenges in making meaning of complex information that social justice advocates of all sorts will have to grapple with in the era of "big data".  Sponsored in partnership with the Center for the Study of Women, Science, and Technology and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Reception to follow, in the Hall of Success, Student Success Center.

Video: Gwen Ottinger Guest Lecture

Is Environmental Justice a Human Right?      Structural Racism icon

Self-Guided Tour and Curator Talk, Center for Civil and Human Rights 
Thursday, Apr 13th; 1:30pm - 4:00pm; Center for Civil and Human Rights (100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, NW)

The Center for Civil & Human Rights is just a 10-minute walk from Tech!  If you haven't visited yet, this is your chance.  If you have visited, this is your opportunity to go through the exhibit with a whole new lens.  Meet SLS representatives at the Center's door for free tickets, then use self-guided tours created by students in two GT English courses to examine what the exhibits can teach us about environmental justice as a human right.  At 3:00pm, join us in the auditorium for a special talk featuring the students and the Center's Education Director.

Music for Social Justice and the Human Condition: Concert Featuring GT Choral Ensembles with Musician Jane Sapp

Saturday, Apr 22nd; 2:00pm - 4:00pm; Center for Civil and Human Rights & Sunday, Apr 23rd; 3:00pm - 5:00pm, Ferst Center for the Arts

The Georgia Tech choirs and guest artist Jane Sapp will present a concert titled Music for Humanity on Saturday, April 22nd, at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at 2pm; and Sunday, April 23rd, at the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts at 3pm.  Artist-in-Residence Jane Sapp, a nationally known cultural worker, artist, and educator, who is a pioneer in music that integrates social justice and peace building, will join the choirs for this celebration of "Music for Social and Environmental Justice." Sponsored in partnership with the Georgia Tech School of Music. Admission to both events is free.

Environmental Justice Series 2016 header

Join SLS, and our campus and community partners, throughout the semester, as we explore the theme of Environmental Justice.  What is "Environmental Justice?" Definitions and Resources

Please note the "special opportunities" sections under some events, specifically for students, faculty, and staff that are part of our affiliated courses and projects.  Keep checking back for updated information!

Attend THREE SLS events this semester and get TWO FREE tickets to the Center for Civil and Human Rights!

Engage ATL

Tuesday, Aug 16th - Thurs. Aug 18th

Sponsored by the Division of Student Life in partnership with SLS, Engage ATL is a community based service experience where participants are immersed in the Georgia Tech and Atlanta community with a specific focus on sustainable community building through direct service with community organizations.

Into the Streets

Saturday, Aug. 29th; 7:30am - 2pm

Sponsored by the student organizations MOVE and TEAM BUZZ, Into the Streets is an annual day of service that introduces first-year and transfer students to community service opportunities in Atlanta.  Students work in small groups on different service projects throughout the city with student leaders in MOVE.

Intro to Environmental Justice

Tuesday, Sept. 6th; 11am - 12pm; Student Center Theater

Sponsored by the African American Student Union (AASU), join us to hear speaker Makara Rumley, Environmental Justice Attorney.

Introduction to Structural Racism Workshop: From Awareness to Action  Structural Racism icon

Tuesday, Sept. 20th; 11am - 12pm; Student Center Theater

Sponsored by Student Diversity Programs, this workshop is the first in a series of programs that explore the many layers of structural racism. Structural Racism is considered by many to be the most profound type of racism because it is infused in all aspects of society (e.g. history, culture, politics, and economics).  The workshop will serve as an introduction to structural racism, address the complexities of structural inequalities, and identify impacts at national, state, and institutional levels.

Event Presentation - Dr. Christian Braneon

What is Systemic Racism?

Structural Racism

One-drop Racial Rule

Allegories on Race and Racism

U.N. Report on People of African Descent

U.N. Report on People of African Descent - document

Liam's Legacy Symposium: Data-driven Research for Environmental Justice: How Universities Can Help Move Vulnerable Communities from Surviving to Thriving (EJ SERIES KICK-OFF EVENT!)

Tuesday, Sept. 27th; 4:30pm - 6pm; Clary Theater (Student Success Center)

The 6th annual Liam's Legacy Symposium features guest speakers Dr. Paul Mohai, environmental sociologist and founder of the Environmental Justice Program at the University of Michigan and member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), Mustafa Ali, senior advisor to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Samantha Shattuck, member of the newly formed NEJAC Youth Perspectives on Climate Justice Workshop.  Come learn about environmental justice from its inception in the 1990s to today, including:

  • how EJ scholars research and measure disparities
  • how methods have changed over the years, particularly with the emergence of GIS
  • how scholarship and activism have influenced policy and led to social change
  • the particular ways in which universities - including faculty, staff, and students - can contribute to the Environmental Justice Movement moving forward

About Liam Rattray:

The Liam's Legacy Symposium honors the memory of Liam Rattray, an outstanding and socially-committed Georgia Tech Honors Program student who was tragically killed by a drunk driver just a few weeks after his graduation, in 2011.  We mourn his death, but we also celebrate his life in this annual event that carries his name and draws upon his legacy of engagement and activism.

Paul Mohai Power Point Presentation

Samantha Shattuck Power Point Presentation

Video: Data-driven Research for Environmental Justice: How Universities Can Help Movie Communities from Surviving to Thriving (full event presentation)

Special Opportunity: Lunch Open House with Guest Speakers

Tuesday, Sept. 27th; 11am - 1pm; President's Suites A & B, Student Success Center

Open to faculty, staff, and students in SLS Affiliated/Related Courses & Projects - come for the whole time or just drop in when you can.  RSVP individually or as a class by September 22nd.  Come as a class, or come on your own, for informal conversations with our guest speakers on:

  • Youth Activism in Environmental & Climate Justice
  • Linking Research and Activism

Come for the whole time or just drop in for a few minutes for lunch and conversation.

Afrofuturism and Environmental Justice: Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Thursday, Sept. 29th; 6pm - 9pm; Ferst Center for the Arts

Join us, along with our partner Arts@Tech, for a screening of Wanuri Kahiu's "Pumzi" and Fabrice Monteiro's  "The Prophecy", two short films that explore environmentalism and Black Sci-Fi.  In the panel to follow, we will discuss how Black science fiction artists from the Americas, Africa, and beyond, use sci-fi as a tool for thinking about environmental justice.  Featuring artist DJ Spooky, former president of the Science Fiction Research Association, Georgia Tech Professor Lisa Yaszek, author and screenwriter Balogun Ojetade, and food justice warrior Ain Chike.

Just Energy Summit - sponsored by the Partnership for Southern Equity

Friday, Sept. 30th - Saturday, Oct. 1st; Atlanta Metropolitan State College

Sponsored by Partnership for Southern Equity, in partnership with SLS, the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, and the Strategic Energy Institute, this two-day forum will focus on energy equity policy, development, and democracy in the 10 county metro-Atlanta region.  Friday's agenda includes an Energy Equity Caucus, presented by SLS, International Living Future Institute, Biomimicry 3.8, New Growth Communications, and Southface, addressing how leaders in the development community in Atlanta are pushing to do better than "less bad" and find our way to "regenerative".  Programs like the Living Community Challenge are a path to regenerative development and their inclusion of Equity as an evaluation criterion is an important step.  This caucus session asks "What if Equity were the starting place for a Living Community?"  Participants will have two input opportunities in an Equity Drafting Table - an open house where answers to important equity questions can be posted and a facilitated session designed to capture an equity approach to a potential Living Community in Atlanta.

Special Opportunity: SLS will subsidize a limited number of tickets for faculty, staff, and students.  Please email us by 9/23 for more information - be sure to indicate which course or project you're involved in.

Saturday, Oct. 1st; 8:00pm; Ferst Center for the Arts

Join our partner, Center for the Arts, to explore environmental justice through art and history.  Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, weaves together a sound and video portrait of one of the most powerful moments of the 20th century, using interviews he conducted with eight survivors (Hibakusha) of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Miller combines their tales with historical footage, music, and the DJ app he invented.  

Racism and Health in the South: Camara Jones and Jonathan Metzl in Dialogue  Structural Racism icon

Wednesday, Oct. 5th; 3pm - 5pm; Clary Theater (Student Success Center)

This public dialogue brings together two world-leading experts on the impact of racism on health: Camara Jones, President of the American Public Health Association and professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, and Jonathan Metzl, Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.  The facilitated conversation will focus on issues of racism and health in the U.S. South.  Organized by the Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine, with the support of GT-FIRE.

Movie/Discussion: "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?"   Structural Racism icon

Wednesday, Oct. 19th; 6pm - 8pm; Neighborhood Union Health Center, 186 Sunset Ave, NW, Atlanta, 30314

Sponsored by Westside Communities Alliance, this film screening and panel discussion will explore questions about how the distribution of power, wealth, and resources shape health outcomes.  We will show Episode 5, "Place Matters", which highlights Latino and Southeast Asian immigrants moving into long-neglected urban neighborhoods.  Segregation and lack of access to jobs, nutritious foods, and safe, affordable housing have been harmful to the health of long-time African American residents, and now the newcomers' health is suffering too.  Seating is limited and RSVP required.  Please email WCA to RSVP.

Engineering and Public Service Panel Discussion

Tuesday, Nov. 1st; 11am - 12:30pm; Student Center, Peachtree Room

Join us and our partner, Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED) for a panel discussion featuring Dr. Christian Braneon, Assistant Director for the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain, and Dr. Zakiya Seymour, Water Technical Program Manager with Jacobs Engineering.  Dr. Braneon and Dr. Seymour will discuss their experiences and decision to attend graduate school, as well as their focus on combining their interest in social and environmental justice with their educational training, including general advice and direction for students of color considering similar career paths.

Taboo Talk: Dismantling Racism in a Society That Doesn't Believe in It   Structural Racism icon

Thursday, Nov. 3rd; 11am - 12pm; Charles A.Smithgall Jr. Student Services Bldg. (Flag Bldg.), Rm. 117

Many individuals fear leading conversations about race on college campuses.  Co-sponsored by Student Diversity Programs, the Black Graduate Student Association, the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization (GTBAO), and Westside Communities Alliance, this workshop will explore how structural racism shows up in our everyday lives across institutions and society.  A panel will lead us in a courageous conversation on how to dismantle structural racism in what many believe to be a post-racial society.

Abigail Sewell Power Point Presentation

Student Reflection

Global Community Engagement and Service: A Service Project with Global Growers & Trip to Dekalb Farmer's Market

Saturday, Nov. 12th; 9am - 4pm (Transportation provided)

Sponsored by the Office of International Education, this day trip is an opportunity to learn about some of the global communities in the Atlanta area and engage in a service project!  This trip includes a visit to the Dekalb Farmer's Market - a market with products from around the world and a rich cultural representation of people from more than 40 countries, speaking in 50 different languages and dialects.  Participants will also engage in a service project with Global Growers, a non-profit that creates opportunities in sustainable agriculture, by growing good food, training farmers, and providing economic opportunities for international farmers.  Global Growers supports a global community of farmers, many of whom came to Atlanta as refugees of war and are working to reconnect to their agricultural heritage in their new home in Georgia. SPACE IS LIMITED TO 60 PARTICIPANTS!  Please RSVP by November 4th.  Transportation will be provided from the Student Center parking lot.

Faculty Talk: "Environmental Justice & Business/Community Engagement - Challenges & Opportunities in the Extractives Industries" - Michael Oxman, Managing Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business and Chris Anderson, Yirri Global

Monday, Nov. 14th; 12:15pm - 1:30pm; TSRB Auditorium

This talk, by Michael Oxman, the new Managing Director of the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business in the Scheller College of Business, and Dr. Chris Anderson, Principal, Yirri Global, Research Associate at the Colorado School of Mines, and Adjunct Professor in the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, will explore challenges and opportunities of business/community outreach, communication, and engagement drawing primarily from the energy and mining sectors.  Environmental and social "performance" among businesses is uneven and we will examine some of the ingredients for mutually beneficial community engagement processes and outcomes.

Michael Oxman Power Point Presentation

Faculty Talk: "What Does Environmental Justice Have to Do With Me? A Student's Guide to the Responsibilities of Engineers" - Bob Kirkman (Public Policy/Ethics) and Chloe Arson (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

Tuesday, Nov. 15th; 11am - 12pm; Clough 469

All this talk about environmental justice sounds okay and interesting, and all, but how does it connect with the work students and young professionals are actually doing, day to day?  Taking hydraulic fracturing as an example, we'll look at different kinds of work engineers have to do at different stages of their development as professionals, drawing connections between the tasks they have at hand - in the lab and in the field - and broader social and ethical concerns about equity, consent, and acceptable risk.
Presentation Materials

River Rendezvous: Water Sampling at Proctor Creek with West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Chattahoochee River Keeper

Saturday, November 19th; 9:30am - 12:30pm; Grove Park Recreation Center, 750 Francis Place, NW

Community members, as well as GT faculty, staff, and students, will collect water samples throughout the watershed to take a one-day "snapshot" of water quality in Proctor Creek.  Training and refreshments will be provided.  RSVP required.  Carpool options are available to and from the Georgia Tech campus.  Organized by: West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Chattahoochee River Keeper.

 EJ Alternative Spring Break

3 - 4 days during March break; Southeastern U.S.; TBD

Sponsored by the Office of International Education, this 3 to 4 day Alternative Spring Break is an opportunity to engage in community-based service projects in the Southeastern United States that involve support, clean-up, and community engagement following a natural/environmental disaster or a community in crisis.  The aim of the program will also be to engage international and US student participants in dialogues around varying cultural perspectives of community service and the topic of environmental justice, particularly to better understand the ways that an environmental or natural disaster (and its lasting effect) may disproportionately impact some community members and individuals.  Details of the project, including specific dates and location, are forthcoming soon.  

Our GT Co-Sponsors and Partners: African American Student Union • Office of the Arts • Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems • School of Literature, Media, and Communication • Office of International Education • Office of Student Engagement • Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business • School of History and Sociology • School of City and Regional Planning • Student Diversity Programs • Westside Communities Alliance • Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine • Writing and Communication Program

Our Additional Co-Sponsors and Partners: Commerce Club Foundation of Atlanta • Partnership for Southern Equity • Spelman College Department of Political Science