Temple's Master of Public Policy (MPP) program hosted expert panelists on April 6th to discuss the intersection between racial equity and environmental policy. The panelists focused on the ways in which race has, and continues to, shape our environmental policy. They highlighted the long history of environmental racism in the United States and discussed the environmental justice movement.
The event was moderated by two current MPP students: Alex de Mucha Pino and Dae'Shawn Nixon. They were joined by four esteemed panelists: Raul Garcia (Senior Legislative Counsel & Legislative Director, Earthjustice), Ebony Griffin (Senior Legislative Counsel for Cumulative Impacts, Earthjustice), Genevieve LaMarr LeMee (Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice, City of Philadelphia), and Dr.Christina Rosan (Associate Professor of Geography & Urban Studies, Temple University).
The conversation weaved the panelist's work around environmental justice with their own personal experiences as policymakers. Their comments about their role as policymakers particularly resonated with me as I continue to reflect on my future career path. The panelists emphasized the importance of listening to the community you are trying to serve, rather than assuming you already know best. They argued that the best policy comes from collaboration with the community. The panel's discussion made me consider my own position as a policymaker and how I can best adjust the power dynamics between myself and the group which I am hoping to serve. I also appreciated the additional resources that were recommended for those hoping to go deeper on these issues. These resources included The Poisoned City by Anna Clark and A Twenty-First Century Water Policy edited by Peter Gleick.
If you were unable to join us for this event, you can watch a Zoom recording of the panel here. Temple will continue to host these important discussions in the Fall, and we hope you will join us at a future panel!