2023 Transatlantic Forum for Environmental and Climate Justice

Join us Friday, October 27, at Georgetown University’s Copley Formal Hall from 10am to 4pm, for the 2023 Transatlantic Forum for Environmental and Climate Justice. Registration is free and open to the public. The event foregrounds the continuing work of organizers, activists, academics, and policy experts in the United States and Germany who are making sure that environmental and climate action is rooted in, and aspirational of, justice.

Along with three interactive sessions addressing critical intersections of environmental and climate justice, the program includes two keynote presentations, a morning conversation with Jacqui Patterson of The Chisholm Project and a midday presentation from Nicole Horseherder, Diné, founding member of Tó Nizhóní Ání. Session speakers include community and movement leaders reimagining and reshaping the way we respond to our climate emergency and the systemic injustices built into our environment.

In our work, our communities, and in the media, we see the inextricable links between ideas of justice and climate and environmental action like never before. Young people in Germany and the United States have taken their governing authorities to court, arguing – convincingly and victoriously – that access to a healthy, livable environment is a fundamental right. Yet for more than thirty years, research has continually shown that such access is rendered exclusive. Exposure to air pollution, hazardous waste sites, lead poisoning, food deserts, and contaminated drinking water, just to name a few, is a product of systemic inequities made even more visible by the pandemic. And efforts to push major economies like Germany and the United States toward a just energy transition too often privilege the interests of industry over the frontline communities they impact.

Who benefits from the energy transition? How can that transition ensure expanded access to a livable, healthy environment? These are the questions that motivate the Forum’s first session, For A Just Transition, led by Miranda Schreuers, Vernon Walker, Gülcan Nitsch, and Shaina Oliver.

The second session, Making Justice Work, asks what it looks like to integrate justice into the hands-on, organizing work of local climate and environmental action. We’ll hear from leaders of Rise St. James, the Louisiana grassroots organization taking on petrochemical giants, and the US and German youth movements redefining political discourse, Fridays for Future, The Last Generation, and This Is Zero Hour

The third session, Global Justice, considers how environmental and climate justice can help build global solidarities of local communities. How can we be a force big enough to confront the scale of the issue without losing sight of the acuteness of the experience of its consequences? Here actions of joy and love merge with care for subsistence farmers, and rethinking the relationship between people and the environment, whether through poetry or science, offers hope. Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos, Joel Agnigbo, Julia Teebken, and Diandra Marizet Esparza are the panelists.

A research poster exhibition and zine, A Justice That Sees, featuring work by undergraduate and graduate students that makes visible an idea or experience related to environmental and climate justice will accompany the Forum. The event concludes with a catered reception and live bluegrass music with fiddler Malia Furtado and mandolinist Maddie Wittler until 6pm.

The Transatlantic Forum for Environmental and Climate Justice is an initiative of POCACITO in partnership with Georgetown University’s BMW Center for German and European Studies and supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington. The event is free and open to the public, so we encourage you to share this invitation with friends and colleagues interested in engaging with the growing community of people committed to environmental and climate justice.

You can find more detailed information about the speakers and schedule on the event registration page

We hope to see you at the Transatlantic Forum for Environmental and Climate Justice on October 27th.