Climate Justice: Conversations Across Barriers and Borders

UConn Metanoia on the Environment

Photo Credits: Fibonacci Blue

Climate Justice: Conversations Across Barriers and Borders

April 20th @ 12:30 - 3 p.m. (Konover Auditorium)

*Accredited as a UConn Honors event*

Enjoy a serving of Middle-Eastern medley.

Addressing the formidable challenges that climate change presents to humanity will require unprecedented collective action at global, national, and local levels. Despite the unquestionable importance of acting collectively, neither the causes nor the effects of climate change are distributed uniformly across political boundaries. The discriminatory effects of climate change are not restricted to international borders, as evident from the extensive reportage of the discriminatory effects of climate-related disasters in the United States and elsewhere. This event brings together scholars, activists, and student leaders – from Puerto Rico, parts of Africa, India, and the United States – to foster multiple conversations about the central questions of climate justice.

Organizers: Prakash Kashwan, Arianna Diaz, and Luis J. Beltrán-Álvarez

Co-hosted by Human Rights Institute/Economic & Social Rights Program (ESRG); El Instituto; and the Political Economy Workshop

Questions? Email

Guest Speakers*

Roberto Thomas is the coordinador, Iniciativa de Eco Desarrollo de Bahía de Jobos (IDEBAJO). IDEBAJO facilitates the autonomous development of communities and dialogue between the most disadvantaged citizen groups and government agencies.

Ruth Santiago is a lawyer and an environmental justice advocate who works with Comité Dialogo Ambiental, Inc., a community group composed of volunteer residents primarily from Salinas and Guayama, in southeastern Puerto Rico. Dialogo was organized as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 1997.

SP Udayakumar is an author, educator, and an activist from India. He earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii in 1996, has held research and teaching positions at the University of Hawaii, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University and Monmouth University in New Jersey. He is also the coordinator of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).

Monamie Bhadra is an American Council of Learned Societies Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Science and Technology Studies at the Ohio State University. As a scholar in science and technology studies (STS), her research examines the political and cultural ramifications of energy transitions in India with insights from the fields of the anthropology of democracy, South Asian studies, critical development studies, and energy policy.

*Guest speakers will address the audience via Skype.

UCOnn Student Leaders' panel

Rebecca Kaufman is an honors student double majoring in political science and human rights, and minoring in public policy aspiring to pursue a career in sustainable development and work on issues around the human right to water. Rebecca has worked in various regions of Guatemala with the Social Entrepreneurship Corps, interned at the Economic Justice Network in Cape Town, South Africa, and worked as a Core Programs Fellow at Net Impact in Oakland, CA. On campus, Rebecca is the President and co-founder of Student Coalition for Social Justice, an Assistant Editor for the Undergraduate Political Review and a member of the President’s Commission on Race and Diversity and the Undergraduate Student Government’s Sustainability Sub-Committee. Rebecca will be serving as a Water Sanitation and Hygiene Education (W.A.S.H.) Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama from July 2018 to October 2020.

Wanjiku (Wawa) Gatheru (CAHNR ’20) is an Honors student majoring in Environmental Studies with an interest in the intersection between gender, environmental activism, and food sovereignty. She is a UConn@COP23 fellow, a Global Health Fellow with the UN Foundation, a research assistant with the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), and volunteer for SOS Food Recovery. Wawa is interested in the way food can solve the most pressing cultural and ecological problems.

Evan Fritz is a student and Environmental activist working to build an independent mass movement of students and working people for climate justice. He is affiliated with 350CT.

Update: The public event on April 20th led to very insightful discussions among national and international experts (Thanks to Roberto Thomas, SP Udayakumar, and Monamie Bhadra) who participated via Skype/Phone and UConn student leaders (Thanks to Rebecca Kaufman, Wawa Gatheru, and Evan Fritz). The UConn Daily Campus published a fantastic report showcased below. Additionally, the Metanoia leadership was greatly supportive and appreciative of the conversations that the event triggered.

The UConn Daily Campus report is available here: