Environmental justice (EJ) is both a field of study and a social movement that seeks to address the unequal distribution of environmental benefits and harms. It asks whether procedures and impacts of environmental decision-making are fair to the people they affect.
Environmental justice recognizes that social justice issues are inherently bound to environmental issues. Thus, environmental justice endeavors to overcome unequal exposure to environmental risks, and distribution of benefits in the context of racism, classism, and sexism. Environmental justice supports the creative resistance of different communities to environmental hazards. It examines how environmental privilege is shaped by race, class, and gender and acknowledges the right of non-human species and natural ecosystems to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate.
The Environmental Justice Caucus has four main goals:
1. Outreach and support – education/recreation and allyship both within the greater Eugene-area community and the UO community
2. Internal education/analysis – educating our peers and colleagues about issues in science and the environmental field
3. Policy advocacy for decisions within the union – helping to advise the union on current issues regarding EJ in order to make informed decisions for endorsement and advocacy
4. Coalescing agent for campus and community environmental activism – bringing together environmental groups around campus and the community that have common goals and interests.