As we begin the new school year, we want to reflect on the principles that make us who we are, and who we want to become. Welcome back to the School for Ecological Justice, where class is always in session.
From a scientific perspective - Ecological Justice is based on the knowledge that the Earth and its ecosystems are complex and fragile, and that the natural world, of which humans are a part, exists as an interconnected and interdependent system. In this web of existence, human ingenuity and activity must be founded on prudence and care.
From a historic perspective - Ecological Justice is based on the fact that the dominant global economic, social, and political systems have favored and continue to primarily benefit a small minority of people. With such a small group of people wielding so much sway on lands, peoples, and resources far and wide across the world, this structure has led to the depletion of the Earth’s ecological diversity; ecosystem destruction; pollution of soil, sea and sky; species extinction; and climate change.
From a cultural perspective - Ecological Justice represents the common denominator among the progressive movements for change that have been a staple of our civilization throughout the 20th century, including feminism, civil rights, and environmentalism. It draws on principles of cooperation and challenges us to confront and change the problems inherent to an extraction- and waste-based growth economy.
From the perspective of place - Human history is made up of a series of dramatic migrations and long periods of settling, during which time people became indigenous to their lands. During this current period of unprecedented human mobility and population growth, ecological justice is a call for re-indigenizing, for once again belonging to the land, as it belongs to us.
We ask our network of alumni, experts, and educators to consider the state of the world and their role in it ... here's what they have to say.