Blog Post

Introducing Environmental Justice Practitioners Working Group

We are pleased to announce the Environmental Justice Practitioners’ Working Group (EJPWG)- the newest of nine CSA working groups. 

A group of EJ scholarship awardees at the Citizen Science Association’s Conference March 13-16, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo by Marilu Lopez Fretts

The need for an EJPWG emerged from conversations at CitSci2019 conference initiated by a cohort of National Science Foundation Scholarship Awardees. The EJPWG’s mission includes strategies for equitable “community science” for people of color via “citizen science” affiliations. 

The EJPWG has outlined 3 major objectives:

  1. Maintain and foster a strong network of community-based EJ practitioners
  2.  Create learning spaces and dialogue with EJ communities/leaders and research-focused counterparts aiming to discuss equitable partnerships and opportunities for collaboration.
  3. Work to improve upon environmental justice participation and representation in the CSA and the conference planning.

The group is excited about the vast potential community science has to offer society.  However, the benefits and opportunities accrued from scientific research have not been realized equitably among environmental justice communities.  Further, these communities are often are exploited by academic researchers (among many with well intent), who historically control how the conversations turnout.  Members of this group aims to change this dynamic by promoting strategies such as funding equity, management parity, leverage of data and results, and shared dissemination.

This community of members at the CSA is in a unique position to lead in improving representation, interactions, collaborations, and partnerships among environmental justice communities.  The EJPWG will look to continue conversations by fostering a strong network of community-based Environmental Justice Practitioners, creating learning spaces, and improving upon environmental justice representation in the CSA.

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