The effects of increased global temperatures are being experienced by marginalized communities first and worst. To confront this challenge, municipalities around the globe are adopting policies shifting transportation and energy systems towards decarbonization. While these are critical pieces to combat climate change, implementation of these policies can reproduce past practices and exacerbate existing inequalities for environmental justice (EJ) communities.
Historically, EJ communities have received little investment and been burdened with adverse social and environmental conditions. Today these issues have compounded to produce a transportation and energy system with many challenges for EJ communities.
The UC Davis Environmental Justice Leaders Program engages a cohort of seasoned leaders within the Environmental Justice space and immerses them into the academic/research/policy space across our partner institutes, the Institute of Transportation Studies and Energy and Efficiency Institute. This program aims to provide leaders in the EJ space an opportunity to provide their valuable community expertise and integrate that knowledge into academic research and education.
The first cohort of EJ Fellows started earlier this year. Their areas of interest include: Electric vehicles (passenger and trucks), indoor air quality and retrofits, transit service, safe streets, truck routing in and near EJ communities, low-cost transportation, energy efficiency and access to new building technologies, construction of climate friendly affordable housing, and water security.
Gifts to the EJ Leaders Program supports a variety of activities which include: