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Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Environmental justice advocate speaks, Nov. 13

Environmental justice advocate Majora Carter will speak about the work of her community organization, Sustainable South Bronx, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in 302 Frist Campus Center. The talk is part of a new collaboration between the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the Center for African American Studies focusing on environmental justice issues.

A lifelong resident of the South Bronx, Carter founded the organization in 2001 to promote innovative projects related to land use, energy, transportation, water, waste and education -- seeking to advance the environmental and economic growth of the South Bronx and to inspire similar solutions across the nation and around the world.

Carter, who serves as executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 2005 for her work in urban revitalization. After her lecture, she will engage in a discussion with Melissa Harris-Lacewell, associate professor of politics and African American studies. The lecture is cosponsored by the University Center for Human Values.

Carter's talk is part of an effort launched this year by PEI and the Center for African American Studies to raise awareness of how environmental issues disproportionately affect poor communities and to take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring solutions.

Upcoming events scheduled as part of the initiative include a screening of the final two parts of Spike Lee's documentary on Hurricane Katrina, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in 10 East Pyne. A conference planned for April will bring together leading scholars and community-based activists to examine a broad range of issues relating to environmental justice.

Also as part of the collaboration, political scientist Kim Smith of Carleton College is spending this year at Princeton as a visiting professor in PEI and the Center for African American Studies. She and Harris-Lacewell will teach a seminar on environmental justice this spring.

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