Program Coordinator: Laura Dev
Office: 251 Gardner Hall
About the Social and Environmental Justice Program
UW-Platteville students can earn either a Minor or Certificate in Social and Environmental Justice.
The Social and Environmental Justice Program is grounded in the conviction that in a world plagued by conflict, war, and manifold forms of degradation, both human and environmental, “true peace,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “is not merely the absence of tension—it is the presence of justice.”
Justice, however, is not present where there is a disregard or contempt for human rights. For that reason, the Social and Environmental Justice Program fully endorses the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. In addition, because of the indivisible link between humans and the environment, the program is committed not only to respecting and promoting basic human rights, but also to affirming and actualizing environmental imperatives.
The Social and Environmental Justice Program aims at developing students who are aware of our world’s major challenges—poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, war, slavery, and all forms of human and environmental degradation—and who are committed to addressing these threats to the common good in the most constructive ways possible.
Who Should Study Social and Environmental Justice?
Open to students from any major or concentration, the Social and Environmental Justice Minor is designed specifically for students who take seriously the idea that an educated person is one who embodies a sensitivity to the social, ecological, and moral challenges of our time, and who, through structured study and practical applied work, act to make a constructive difference in our world.
What to Expect
Using courses from across a diversity of disciplines, the program focuses on developing the idea and practice of social and environmental justice. Classroom study is followed by an off-campus cooperative experience with an organization or partner involved in on-the-ground social and environmental justice development and/or relief in a location either within the United States or another country.
Field experiences include, but are not limited to, projects in agriculture, community development, education, engineering, health care, job training, reforestation, habitat restoration, and small business development. The field experience involves supervised study and service related to specific development or relief projects and enables students to learn not only about the communities in which they are immersed, but also about the kinds of development that are appropriate within particular cultural contexts.