China Partnership Announces Environmental Justice Young Fellows Exchange
October 14, 2009
Vermont Law School (VLS) has been awarded a federal grant to support a U.S.-China exchange program for young professionals working on environmental justice issues. Funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State, the educational and cultural exchange will provide leadership training opportunities to 18 Chinese and American women and men, particularly members of minority groups, who are active in environmental justice efforts. Participants in the program will jointly examine the environmental burdens, including climate change impacts, on minority communities and low-income populations in the U.S. and China and will be mentored in designing projects to advance environmental justice for those communities.
"This program creates a rare opportunity for young environmental professionals in China and the US to learn from each other and to work toward a common goal of advancing environmental justice. It will position them for further leadership within their communities and countries," VLS President and Dean Jeff Shields said.
This U.S.-China exchange program aims to cultivate leadership among young environmental professionals and to provide them with opportunities to gain insights into legal tools, policies, and activism that can assist vulnerable communities in addressing environmental challenges. The participants in the program will attend a series of roundtables, study tours, and hands-on internships in both the U.S. and China. They will examine the issues of environmental justice and climate change through a comparative and collaborative approach and will participate in experiential learning exercises to build mutual approaches to the issues. To deepen the collaboration, the exchange will include short internships at environmental justice organizations in each country-potentially at the organizations from which the 18 participants originate. The participants will spend a total of six weeks together over next summer in the United States and China. The first three weeks will include activities in Vermont; Washington, D.C.; and a one-week internship at an environmental organization in the United States. In China they will be carrying out activities in Beijing, Yichang, and Guangzhou.
Read more about the program and how to apply.