In the Just Environments Program , scholars, students, community co-researchers work together to understand the structural sources of environmental and climate injustices, thereby challenging the deeply held assumptions that perpetuate them. In taking this approach, we seek to avoid the long-standing trend of academic research that does not include community partners or incorporate corrective actions to redress and resolve environmental injustices. Employing the best practices from environmental justice studies and from the lived experiences of our partners, Just Environments collaborates with communities in ways that recognizes their depth of knowledge and implicit understanding. Without immediately privileging academic expertise, we recognize the right of community members with the greatest stake in the process to frame the problem and identify acceptable solutions.
Just Environments is a joint project of the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. It formalizes long-standing community-engaged environmental and climate justice collaborations between the two institutes and impacted communities.