Duke University Partners with JCSU to Offer Inaugural Environmental Justice Workshop

Community Engagement and Education Curriculum and Outreach Internal Culture

Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE), together with the Center for Applied Leadership and Community Development (CALCD) at Johnson C. Smith University, is excited to offer the inaugural Environmental Justice Workshop for teachers, students and community members in June 2012. This workshop will center on exposure of farmworkers in North Carolina to hazardous agricultural pesticides. The proposed program supports JCSU’s sustainability efforts by enhancing student, faculty and community resident awareness and understanding of environmental justice issues.

The workshop is for undergraduates from JCSU who will be enrolled in the fall 2012 and who have an interest in pursuing fields such as environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry or environmental health. Also eligible to participate are secondary school educators from a Charlotte public school who have an interest in learning and teaching about environmental justice and who are willing to collaboratively develop a unit for their classrooms based on material learned during the workshop. It is also for community leaders from Charlotte who have an interest in learning about farmworker exposure to hazardous pesticides and who wish to consider how to raise awareness in their communities around this environmental justice issue. Faculty members from JCSU who may have an interest in issues of pesticide exposure and/or environmental justice are also invited to participate.

The program’s components include:

  • a five-day workshop on the Duke University campus.

  • by July 31, participants will work collaboratively in Charlotte to draft a curricular unit based on their learning from the workshop.

  • During the 2012-2013 academic year, participants will work together to pilot the unit in educators’ classrooms (JCSU and high school educators) and to use the unit to raise awareness in the community.

  • In summer 2013, participants will return to Duke for a second five-day workshop to evaluate the curricular unit and the experience, as well as to mentor a second cohort of participants beginning the process based at a different HBCU in North Carolina.

Participants will receive a $250 honorarium after submitting the curricular unit on July 31, 2012, and will receive a second $250 honorarium after completing the evaluation workshop in summer 2013. All costs of the five-day workshops are covered by the Superfund Research Program at Duke University, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.