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Restoring Reciprocal Relationships for Social and Ecological Health

Indigenous stewardship contributes to ecological biodiversity and ecosystem resiliency. Restoring reciprocal relationships between American Indians and traditional lands can improve ecosystem health and cure social ills through the restoration of traditional foods, medicines, and culturally utilized plants. Federal regulations and failure to recognize tribes near Yosemite National Park threaten endangered cultures and languages as well as traditionally utilized native plants. The societal understanding of the term natural, meaning without human influence, is becoming more complicated. Human-induced climate change and recognition of landscapes previously thought absent of human influence are now understood to have been shaped in part by Indigenous people, mainly through anthropogenic fire. Preserving public lands without Indigenous stewardship does not protect natural and cultural resources from impairment for future generations of Indigenous children.

Aug 21, 2020
Irene A. Vasquez

Equitable Community Solar: California & Beyond

Residential solar and utility scale solar are low-hanging fruit in the renewables transition, but targeting low-hanging fruit can only go so far. Can states innovate, reach further, and ignite near-universal consumer demand for clean energy and achieve social justice goals through equitable community solar?

Aug 21, 2020
Subin G. DeVar

The Power of Power: Democratizing California’s Energy Economy to Align with Environmental Justice Principles through Community Choice Aggregation

Community choice aggregation energy programs have proliferated throughout California as a tool for public municipalities to aggregate their communities’ electricity demand and procure electricity for themselves. Through their community choice aggregation programs, communities have reduced their electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change. In this Article, we will attempt to demonstrate that community choice aggregators in California have been used as an effective tool to further the Principles of Environmental Justice through community engagement, renewable energy development, and programs for low-income, marginalized, or vulnerable communities that are informed by local input.

Aug 21, 2020
Alexandra McGee and Shalini Swaroop

Panel III: This is the Moment of Truth

What can you, as students, do to get involved in the environmental justice or social justice movements? My name is Roger Lin. I am one of the attorneys in Berkeley Law’s Environmental Law Clinic. We do environmental health and environmental justice cases. We have fantastic panelists who are going to dive into the question: What can students do right now for the environmental or social justice movements? 

Aug 21, 2020
Rey León, Roger Lin, Camille Pannu, Irene Vasquez