The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others are horrific reminders of the institutionalized injustice and persistent racism in America. The UC Davis Graduate Program of Environmental Policy and Management (EPM) condemns racism and hate. Progress requires that people from marginalized communities be empowered as leaders in all aspects of our society--major corporations, non-profit organizations, and all branches and levels of government as appointed and elected officials. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color disproportionately bear the negative effects of climate change and other environmental impacts, making it even more important that their voices be included in environmental policy. As a program we seek to educate ourselves and become allies in integrating diverse voices in this process.
The EPM program develops policy leaders and managers of the future. Our mission is to empower agents of change. Yet, our current professional community, research, and teaching do not adequately represent diversity. Thus, we have a responsibility to recruit students from diverse backgrounds, to tackle the tough subjects of social and environmental justice in our courses and seminars, and to offer training in the specific skills to implement change through policy or management reform. The EPM Program will take the following actions going forward:
- Collectively develop a statement of equity and diversity that will inform the overall mission of the EPM program.
- Significantly expand our student recruitment outreach to colleges, universities, government agencies and non-profit organizations that serve or represent minority and disadvantaged communities.
- Launch a fundraising effort to support a Diversity Fellowship Program to fund graduate students from diverse backgrounds.
- Support the efforts of a student-organized EPM diversity committee.
- Introduce an environmental justice specialization that includes environmental justice courses and links to other required program elements such as graduate practicums, internships, and policy clinic teams.
- Publish a resource guide for students and faculty listing support programs for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and international students. The resource guide will identify environmental and social justice support and activities at UC Davis, governmental, private, and non-profit organizations.