Environmental Data Justice

The Environmental Data Justice (EDJ) Working Group works with the productive frictions between emerging data justice concerns and long standing principles of environmental justice. While data justice has challenged the nonconsensual use of data in surveillance practices, policing, and racial profiling, environmental justice movements often call for increased, open, and participatory data in order to document environmental racism and inequality. The EDJ Working Group recognizes the many conflicting justice concerns that data manifests and aims to bring together research communities to struggle together across these differences with a commitment to intersectional justice.

The EDJ Working Group is interested in documenting and analyzing all forms of environmental harms, including, corporate and government practices of manipulating and withholding data, as well as government failures to adequately collect and use data. We also aspire to move beyond theories of change based primarily on proving environmental harms to communities, lands, and bodies. Instead, our goal is to facilitate collaborative, action-based research that creates civic technologies, environmental data infrastructures, and equitable and transparent data care practices. To this end, our work includes critical assessments of existing models, infrastructures, and practices of data collection, storage, and dissemination, as well as projects that generate alternative kinds of knowledge, technologies, and imaginaries towards more just worlds. In these ways we hope to contribute to an open and public conversation between the growing data justice and environmental justice communities.

The EDJ Working Group hosted in February 2019 a public event, ‘Environmental Data Justice: Vision and Values,’ that brought together grassroots organizations, activists, academics, and students to share experiences and learn from one another. We are glad to share a summary and the recording of the online event on our blog.

This public event prompted us to develop an EDJ Syllabus 1.0 based in activist and academic work bridging across environmental justice and digital/data justice movements. We look forward to developing it collaboratively, with anybody who wants to contribute.

Building on this first online event and syllabus development, the EDJ Working Group will be hosting with GreenRoots‘ Environmental Chelsea Organizers (ECO) an ‘EJxYouth Summit‘ on September 21st, 2019. The online event will gather a diverse range of speakers to share resources on youth organizing in environmental and social justice movements. More information and free registration for the event are available here. All are welcome to join!  

We welcome and are seeking collaborators interested in joining our work. Our current projects include:

    • Offering an EDJ Framework (read our initial thoughts from our day-long event preceding the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Social Study of Science)
    • Undertaking collective writing projects with and for public, policy and academic communities
    • Creating a collective EDJ syllabus
    • Critically analyzing present environmental databases
    • Building networks and relations with environmental and data justice activists and scholars
    • Making technologies and expanding practices of visualization, mapping, and archiving
    • Creating alternative visions of alternative environmental data justice practices

If you are interested in joining our work or learning more, please contact edj@envirodatagov.org.