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The Environment as a Human Rights Issue

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Saieh Hall Room 021

1160 East 58th Street

Chicago, IL 60637

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While most people who live in the United States are aware of the effects of a warming planet, they rarely think about how low-income communities and communities of color in our country are affected by climate change and energy and environmental policies. The severity and extent of storms such as Hurricanes Harvey and Maria and rising sea levels in places like Miami and New Orleans, for example, have significant impacts on these communities. Those same kinds of communities experience a disproportionate level of environmental hazards, such as lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, and proximity to Superfund sites such as in East Chicago, Indiana. Environmental issues are also a matter of social justice.

Join Phoenix Sustainability Initiative (PSI) as we welcome Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, for a discussion about environmental justice and its intersection with racial and gender justice. The event will be moderated by Mark Templeton, clinical professor at the University of Chicago Law School and director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic.

About the Speaker:

Jacqueline Patterson first became involved in environmental justice work as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica, where Shell Oil contaminated the local water supplies. Later, she noticed that the U.S. lacked a gendered analysis of climate change and decided to empower women who were impacted by climate change through her Women of Color Climate Justice Road Tour. She also has served as a senior women’s rights policy analyst for ActionAid, where she integrated food rights, macroeconomics and climate change through a women’s rights perspective. Patterson holds master’s degrees in social work from the University of Maryland and in public health from Johns Hopkins University.

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Saieh Hall Room 021

1160 East 58th Street

Chicago, IL 60637

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