Yale, Vermont Law School Students Examine Environmental Justice in Trump Era

The Environmental Justice Law Society at Vermont Law School and the Environmental Justice Clinic at Yale Law School will examine environmental justice and civil rights strategies in the Trump era during their 2018 EJ Law and Policy Convening, “Advancing Environmental Justice.” The convening, free and open to the public and press, will be held from noon to 6:15 p.m. Saturday, April 7, in Winslow Auditorium at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn.

Many communities and organizations have their own definition of environmental justice. As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

The VLS/Yale convening, in its second year, brings together community leaders, activists, attorneys, and legal scholars for a series of panel discussions to include:

- “Environmental Justice in the Trump Era” with Sharon Lewis, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice; Michele Roberts, co-director of the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform; Catherine Flowers, director of environmental justice and civic engagement at the Center for Earth Ethics; and Oday Salim, executive director and managing attorney at the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.

- “Civil Rights Strategies to Advance Environmental Justice in the Trump Era” with Rachel Godsil, professor of law at Rutgers University and co-founder of the Perception Institute; Richard Grow, project officer with EPA Region 9 Air Division; Leah Aden, senior counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.; and Vernice Miller-Travis, principal of Miller-Travis & Associates, senior associate of Skeo Solutions, and co-founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

- “Building Capacity and Broadening Coalitions” with Devon Hall, program manager and co-founder of REACH, and Judith Robinson, executive director of Coming Clean.

“The convening is the result of a collaboration between students at Vermont Law School and the Environmental Justice Clinic at Yale Law School,” said Arielle King MELP’18, co-founder of the Environmental Justice Law Society at VLS. “Environmental justice requires an integrated approach, considering human and civil rights as well as tackling environmental issues, in order to be successful. We must not forget that the environmental justice movement arose from the civil rights era. We encourage community members and students to join us and participate in a conversation about community-centered environmental justice strategies.”

The “Advancing Environmental Justice” convening will open with lunch. Preregistration is encouraged. For more information, including a full schedule and registration, see the event page on Google Docs, or email Margaret Galka at MargaretGalka@vermontlaw.edu or Meredith Brown at meredith.brown@YLSClinics.org.


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a juris doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; four master’s degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy, and Master of Arts in Restorative Justice; and four post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, Center for Applied Human Rights, and Center for Justice Reform. For more information, visit vermontlaw.edu, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.