CU-Boulder teaches students about 'eco-social justice'

The University of Colorado, Boulder is promoting student leadership in “eco-social justice,” recently holding an event on “de-colonizing the environment.”

The December 7 program, titled “Multi-Cultural Leadership on Eco-Social Justice,” was hosted by the university’s “Cultural Unity & Engagement Center,” which advertised that it would include “interactive activities, a presentation, and dialogue” about environmentalism.

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In addition to the planned activities, the official description of the event also touts the school’s “Eco-Social Justice Leadership Certificate Program,” a project that was started in 2014.

“The Eco-Social Justice Leadership program empowers student learning with the knowledge and skills to advance both sustainability and social justice efforts,” the website for the initiative states. “The purpose of this program is to illuminate the direct correlation of sustainability and social justice work which, in turn, creates an opportunity for student leadership and action surrounding this work on CU campus and beyond.”

According to the university, the program is designed to educate students about environmental justice, “explore social identities,” develop “creative solutions and practical plans for actions engaging the community,” and more.

“The program will build a community of change agents, explore questions of identity and place, heritage and inheritance, root causes of the global unravelling, and create community solutions,” the university states. “We will examine individual actions and identities as well as global institutions and world views. We will also meet with and learn from practitioners in the field.”

When registering for the program, students are informed that the collective “will meet weekly until April except for school holidays” and are asked to provide information about their views and interest in the initiative.

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The Cultural Unity & Engagement Center also hosts a variety of other programs, “with special focus given to underrepresented populations on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.”

In its mission statement, the center pledges to “provide facilitated educational experiences, resources, and involvement opportunities to improve the campus climate for first generation, international, and students of color.”

Likewise, the center also lists “social justice” as one of its five core values.

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