Monday, February 9, 2015

UCSC's Economics Department, Social Justice and Sustainability

University News reports, "Rob Fairlie, chair of the Economics Department at UC Santa Cruz, has been commended by the state legislature for service to California through his work to reduce poverty and inequality, improve education and human capital, and increase job opportunities and entrepreneurship."


Rob Fairlie has been contributing to the socio-economic movement through his involvement with projects on entrepreneurship and small business training, and providing access to technology for students in middle school through community college.

He has also been involved with research studies that look at whether providing improved access to computers could help low-income students on financial aid perform better and whether underrepresented minority students perform better when taught by underrepresented minority instructors.

You might be wondering how social justice is related to sustainability, but the fact of the matter is that both thrives off of each other.  If we want to see a world that is environmentally sustainable, we need a society that is economically and socially sustainable.  This means that to fight any type of environmental injustice, social change is also necessary so that we can all move forward together and fight the social injustices that prevent our solidarity.  This idea is represented in an article relating the #BlackLivesMatter and climate change campagins:

"Thinly veiled notions of racial superiority have informed every aspect of the non-response to climate change so far. Racism is what has made it possible to systematically look away from the climate threat for more than two decades. It is also what has allowed the worst health impacts of digging up, processing and burning fossil fuels—from cancer clusters to asthma—to be systematically dumped on indigenous communities and on the neighborhoods where people of colour live, work and play."

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