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Dickinson to Serve as Community Hub for Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania Symposium

Aerial campus photo of Old West

Event seeks to build on momentum and strengthen future efforts and initiatives

by Tony Moore

Environmental justice is a movement to include everyone—especially traditionally marginalized communities—in efforts to develop, implement and enforce environmental regulations, laws and policies. It’s a worldwide movement with a lot of moving parts.

Not surprisingly, Dickinson is one of those parts and has been for a long time. And on Tuesday, April 6, Dickinson faculty, staff and students will be part of a Community Hub for an Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania (EJ in PA) symposium, a virtual event that looks to inspire community members to activate local environmental justice hubs around the state.

“Events such as the Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania symposium are vital to illuminate the persistent nature of environmental injustices, to build solidarity across communities advocating for change and to work toward achieving social justice and a healthy environment for all,” says Heather Bedi, the south-central Pennsylvania hub coordinator and assistant professor of environmental studies. “EJ in PA aims to educate and empower residents regarding environmental justice issues throughout Pennsylvania.”

Dickinson’s Christian Perry, director of the Popel Shaw for Race & Ethnicity, will lead the group through discussions on environmental justice concerns in south-central Pennsylvania, while students working with the Center for Civic Learning & Action and Center for Sustainability Education will serve as note takers. Lessons learned will be collated, and Bedi and her students—along with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Justice and help from Mellon Foundation funding—will create a website and story map. The website will be a place to document environmental injustices and serve as a virtual planning and meeting space to advance common goals across the commonwealth.

The event will be hosted by the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC), the city of Harrisburg, the Environmental Advisory Committee and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. The keynote speaker is Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president of environmental justice, climate & community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation.

For more information, please contact Heather Bedi:


Published March 29, 2021