Villanova, PA – Love Canal, New York, Times Beach, Missouri, Hinckley, California—all are towns that were exposed to massive environmental pollution in the 1980s and 1990s. The suffering of the inhabitants in these places helped inspire the birth of the environmental justice movement at the end of the 20th century—when it had become clear that low income and minority communities were disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards such as polluting industries, power plants and waste disposal areas.
As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people—regardless of race, color, national origin, or income—in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Recognizing the importance of the movement, The Department of Geography and the Environment in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has invited Ebony Griffin, staff attorney for Environmental Justice at The Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia, to discuss this important topic on Thursday, November 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Mendel 154 on Villanova University’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.
In her lecture, “Environmental Justice and Climate Change,” Griffin will discuss her extensive experience in environmental law. In her practice, she focuses on projects in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia that support low-income, historically disinvested communities and communities of color—advocating for sustainable and equitable neighborhoods. She is currently work on the Eastwick Advocacy and Community Development project, the Garden Justice Legal Initiative, and a lawsuit to preserve the La Finquita Community Farm.
Griffin is a member of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC), connecting Philadelphians and their local government to create a more just food system. She earned her juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law and received her Bachelor of the Arts in Spanish from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.