Land, Water, Justice

Advisors: Eunice Blavascunas and Stan Thayne

Land, Water, Justice is an intensive, experiential learning program, focusing on gathering and sharing the stories of voices less often heard in the rural, eastern portions of Washington and Oregon on issues relating to land, water, and climate justice. After a spring semester seminar focusing on the legacies of manifest destiny, racism, and cultural exclusion, students and faculty take to the field to meet people who are confronting these legacies and envisioning more just futures for the region. For example, students will listen to the stories of tribal leaders, frontline workers in environmental health, land rights activists, and climate activists. As a final project, students will work in teams to produce and publish an original media production.

The program has two co-requisites. Prior to the summer intensive field experience, students admitted to the program enroll in a four-credit seminar in the spring which meets six times, followed by a three-week field component at the end of May and into June. Admission to the program is limited to 14 students and may be competitive.

This field course examines land, water, and justice in the inland Northwest, with an emphasis on racial and climate justice. Students will read about connections between manifest destiny and decolonization while gaining skills in digital storytelling, oral history, and interviews. Particular emphasis will be placed on imagining just futures and how to examine practical and aspirational solutions for addressing critical problems of climate change and racial inequality. Program is not scheduled to be offered for the next two years.