University of Utah - Global Change and Sustainability Center

Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger

September 22, 2020 | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Event Description:

Drawing on sociologist John Foran’s questions from “Transforming the University
to Address the Climate Crisis,” I ask what role can colleges and universities in
particular, and specific fields (sustainability, environmental policy, etc.) play in
addressing climate and other crises? How can we draw on social movements and
systemic alternatives to create a different kind of university, fit for the

Drawing from 25 years working with environmental justice movements
as an engaged, interdisciplinary scholar, and from 16 years teaching and
engagement at the University of California, I argue that intersectionality,
interdisciplinarity and institutional contexts matter in unfolding and
interconnected crises, now more than ever. The moment demands a reckoning
and environmental scholars and institutions more broadly, can and should engage

Julie Sze is the author of Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health
and Environmental Justice (MIT Press, 2007), Fantasy Islands: Chinese Dreams and
Ecological Fears in an Age of Climate Crisis (University of California Press, 2015),
and, most recently, Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger (University of
California Press, 2020). She edited the collection Sustainability: Approaches to
Environmental Justice and Social Power (NYU Press, 2018) and has written over 50
articles and book chapters.

Across a wide geographical terrain (New York, California and Shanghai) and scales
and issues, Sze’s research holds constant a sustained focus on political ecology,
urbanization, and planning, including links and interactions between the political
economy of spatial form and social relations with nature.