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Session One:

Blackness & The Environment


Session Date

November 05, 2021

Dr. Michelle Dovil

Dr. Michelle Dovil is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Howard University in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. She received her BA in Sociology, with a minor in Women Studies from the University of Florida. Dr. Dovil later moved to Washington, DC, where she received her MA and PhD in Sociology from Howard University. Although her formal concentrations are in Social Inequality and Criminology, Dr. Dovil's personal research interests are in disaster research, gender studies, and environmental inequality. She has worked on several projects both domestically and internationally in places that include Washington, DC; New Orleans, Louisiana; Norman, Oklahoma; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Sendai, Japan. Moreover, these projects have been centered on investigating the impact of climate change on coastal communities; inequalities of disasters; improving risk communication for vulnerable populations; examining the protective action and evacuation responses of disaster victims; as well as many other environmental inequality issues. Dr. Dovil has received research awards from both the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation.

Guiding Questions

  • What communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental issues?​

  • Do Black people have to choose between social issues (ex. environment, housing, incarceration, etc.)?​

  • Do environmental issues get pushed toward the bottom of the list?​

  • How can Black people effectively lead their communities on environmental issues when faced with pervasive and life-shortening racism?

  • Where does Black liberation intersect with the environment?

Learning Objectives

  • Black people’s unique environmental experience

  • Blackness as an environment

  • Linking social determinants of health, social demographics, and environmental racism

  • The need for EL as a framework/movement

  • An introduction to the EL Manifesto

Session Description

The environment includes the complex interaction between physical, geographical, biological, social, cultural, and political conditions that surround an individual or organism. Black people’s unique environmental experiences and fights for liberation call for a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to building an abundant and regenerative world. The environmental liberation (EL) movement introduced by Generation Green provides just that. Tune in to learn more about the framework of EL and the significance of the environment in our lives.

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