Giovanna Di Chiro: Connecting Sustainability and Environmental Justice

This talk explores the "three pillars" of sustainability (ecology, economics, and equity) through the critical lens of environmental justice. What do we mean when we talk about sustainability? How do different groups of people understand and define the goals and visions of sustainability? This presentation provides examples of sustainability initiatives led by environmental justice organizations focusing on local agriculture, food security, energy and climate justice. It also discusses local partnerships and student-led community-based learning projects with community groups in Philadelphia and Chester, Pa.

Giovanna Di Chiro is the Lang Professor for Issues of Social Change at Swarthmore College, and Policy Advisor for Environmental Justice at Nuestras Raíces, Inc. in Holyoke, Massachusetts. She has published widely on the intersections of environmental science and policy, with a focus on social and economic disparities and human rights. She is co-editor of the volume Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power and is completing a book titled Embodied Ecologies: Science, Politics, and Environmental Justice. Di Chiro's current work examines environmental justice activists' reframing of the climate change debate to focus on the local, bodily impacts of wide-scale environmental problems like global warming. She is widely known for her research and practice focusing on community-based approaches to sustainability and the intersections of social justice and sustainability.