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Enviro­­­­­­­nmental Affairs Symposium Seeks to Build a More Livable World

October 17, 2016

Templeton Campus Center

As environmentalism has taken shape, which priorities have been foregrounded? Whose interests have been overlooked? How does crisis illuminate the vulnerabilities and inequities in our communities? How are aims for improving quality of life for citizens around the globe best achieved? How can good intentions go astray?

This year’s Environmental Affairs Symposium, which runs October 18 through 20, is titled Equity and Earth: Intersections of Social Justice and Environment. The student-run symposium includes panel discussions and a keynote dialogue between Christopher Foreman, director of the Social Policy Program at the University of Maryland, and David N. Pellow, Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies and director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. All events are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program, the annual gathering is an opportunity for students to gain skills and experience planning a major academic event, from selecting themes and topics, to identifying and securing speakers, to promoting the event with peers and other priority audiences.

Blake Slattengren ’18, one of this year’s student co-chairs, leveraged his previous symposium experience by stepping into a leadership role for this year’s event. “Something that we are really trying to do this year is really extend the discussion after the symposium. How do we create an interesting discussion that also moves the talking forward?”

For Gabby Francolla ’18, success is about engaging more students in the discussion. “A successful symposium is going to be having a ton of people who aren’t environmental studies majors there, who don’t think about this stuff everyday, who can recognize that environmental studies is applicable to every major, every person. If they come to the symposium and then take what they learn and start applying what they learn into their own classes, majors, and lives; that will be success for us.”

For a full schedule of speakers and events visit

Environmental Studies

This story was written by Elise Wilde ’18.