Skip to main content

Sociology Colloquium, 4/14/2021

From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice in Government Agencies

Dr. Jill Lindsay Harrison, University of Colorado BoulderJill Harrison Colloquium

Prof. Jill Lindsey Harrison will present the findings from her new book, From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice within Government Agencies (MIT Press, 2019). From the Inside Out lifts the veil on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental regulatory agencies to offer new insights into why they fail to reduce harmful toxics and other hazards in our nation’s most environmentally overburdened and vulnerable communities. It examines the disappointing pace of environmental regulatory agencies’ “environmental justice” (EJ) programs and policies as a case through which to understand why, despite reducing air and water pollution for the nation overall, government has not protected the communities who suffer the most. Other scholars have shown that budget cuts, industry pressure, and other factors outside the control of agency staff constrain the possibilities for EJ reforms to regulatory practice. This book shows that agencies’ EJ efforts are also undermined by elements of regulatory workplace culture, particularly colorblind notions of fairness and utilitarian measures of effectiveness. Through extensive interviews with and observations of staff at numerous environmental regulatory agencies across the United States, Harrison show that agencies’ EJ efforts are undermined by everyday ways in which well-meaning staff dedicated to environmental regulation reject EJ reforms as violating what they think their organization does and should do.

April 14, 2021
Wednesday, 12–1:30pm
Zoom session
Meeting ID: 976 8595 4537
Passcode: 577609

If you cannot join with video, you can connect to the Zoom session via phone: 1–346–248–7799