Environmental Justice (EJ) emerged as a societal movement in the US in the 1980s, but equity in relation to environmental and health hazards has been a ubiquitous factor in the continuous pursuit of a more just world throughout human history. Today, EJ has come into the everyday vernacular as we witness in real time the disparate effects that climate change, a global pandemic, and systemic inequities ingrained in our society have on marginalized communities. As stewards of public health, we may recognize that it is our job to alleviate these inequities, but academia and research still exist very much outside of real world contexts. Caught up in the pursuit of knowledge, we do not always recognize or value the communities around us in our work.
Because of this, we are excited to explore EJ in this year’s EHS Research Symposium as it pertains to communities in Michigan, and how we as students can better incorporate EJ into our work and lives. Given this we have aimed to engage insightful presenters representing both academic and non-academic perspectives. Our goal for this year’s symposium is to inspire students with pertinent conversations surrounding our pursuit of justice and equity in our communities and in those affected by our work.