Disposable Communities? Demanding Environmental Justice

2014 Building Bridges Conference

We invite you to join us for the 19th annual Building Bridges Conference, “Disposable Communities? Demanding Environmental Justice,” taking place Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Gustavus Adolphus College. This student-led diversity conference will provide a rewarding opportunity to engage in important dialogue that will challenge the disposability of our communities and our Earth. In particular, we will discuss the intersections of race, class, identity, and the environment. We are working to change the narrative of environmentalism. These are not just scientific concerns, they are human rights violations.

Building on tradition, this conference continues to be the platform for students to address significant issues of justice in a proactive and informative way. For this reason, we have invited Van Jones, political activist, environmental justice advocate, and author of The Green Collar Economy, to be this year’s first keynote speaker. He will examine the social issues associated with environmental degradation and the disproportionate impact they have on vulnerable communities. Delivering the second keynote address will be grassroots environmental justice activist and organizer from the Bronx Alexie Torres-Fleming, who will speak on community empowerment in response to environmental burdens.

Building off the keynote addresses, we will offer a series of workshops that cover topics of from environmental racism, local and global examples of environmental injustice, the Native American movement, and grassroots movements on environmental injustice. Additionally, as action is a central aspect of empowerment, we will also offer an action piece experience that will engage conference goers with the question of how we should respond to these issues.

We encourage you to attend the 19th annual Building Bridges Conference and join us in learning about and acting upon the environmental injustices of our world.

Kelly Dumais and Mark Zorrilla
Building Bridges Co-Chairs 2014