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Environmental Justice Committee

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Our Focus


The PSC EJWG sponsored a mass meeting on Dec.10, 2021: ”Setting a Climate Justice Agenda for CUNY”. Over 150 PSC members and student and community allies met for 4 hours to define problems and solutions for addressing the climate crisis at CUNY. Check out the main take-aways HERE.

The event was co-sponsored by the University Faculty Senate, CUNY Grad Center Department of Earth and Environmental Science Program, Puerto Rican Alliance (Brooklyn College), Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay Center for Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center, NYPIRG, CUNY University Senate.


[The committee is currently considering a new structure and division of labor. Here is a proposal developed in July 2020 for its future work.]

Climate change is a fact. The wider and deeper the understanding of its nature, its causes, and its impact, the more effective the PSC can be in crafting an appropriate response. TeachScience.jpg
Clearly, in the realm of public policy, responses to climate change raise questions of environmental justice that, directly and indirectly, now and over the long term, affect the CUNY community and the city of which it is a crucial part. We believe that the PSC must work actively within the university and with allies outside to share information and mobilize support for initiatives that place racial and class equity at the center of public responses to the climate crisis. Our particular focus is the CUNY community and its constituency.

Elizabeth Yampierre, one of several community activists speaking at a past Climate Justice Forum.

The Environmental Justice Working Group will:

  • work with our City University partners to widen and deepen the understanding across the CUNY community of the nature, causes and impact of climate change
  • take a census of faculty who teach climate change-related courses as well as those who administer climate related initiatives centrally and on the campuses;
  • coordinate CUNY-wide discussions of the possibilities for information sharing and collaboration;
  • support CUNY’s clean energy and community solar efforts, and the many campus-based initiatives that elevate environmental justice issues through teaching, activism, and the building of community a
  • work to define a distinctive PSC perspective on what an environmental justice agenda for CUNY should look like;
  • evaluate the most effective ways to collaborate with environmental justice groups outside the university, and particularly our sister unions;
  • hold forums and workshops to facilitate the above.

We believe that these objectives are not only legitimate in themselves for a social movement union but have the potential to draw additional members to an active role in union life.

Policy Resolutions by the PSC, Including Proposed Resolutions for its National (AFT) and State (NYSUT) Affiliates.

PSC Resolution on Build Public Renewable Power Through Expansion of NYPA December 2021

PSC Resolution in Support of Public Power January 2021

PSC: Green New Deal 2020

PSC Proposed AFT Resolution: Green New Deal  August 2020

PSC Proposed NYSUT Resolution: Divestment of FF NYS Feb 2020

PSC Proposed NYSUT Resolution: TIAA Divestment of FF, Feb. 2020

PSC: Housing and Climate Justice Feb 2019

PSC Proposed NYSUT Resolution: 2019 TRS, TRS and TIAA Fossil Fuel Divestment

PSC proposed AFT Resolution:  August 2016 Divest from Fossil Fuels broadly

PSC: March 2014 CUNY divest from FF

PSC: CUNY Divestment from Fossil Fuels, March 2014


Environmental Justice Committee Meetings will be in two parts — (1) a business meeting and (2) a speaker.  Monthly meetings are from 5 pm to 6:30 pm.

Feb 15
March 15
April 26
May 10
June 7

April 26, 5 pm.  Rebecca Bratspies, Professor of Law, CUNY Law School and Director Center for Urban Environmental Reform will present on how NYC developed what we now call “Environmental Justice Communities”, that is, communities most affected by toxins, hazards and climate change.  This is material that she researched for her new co-authored book,   Environmental Justice: Law, Policy and Regulation .Rebecca will offer us a historical and policy view into this phenomenon of deep inequality.

Please let your colleagues and students know about this presentation and share the link for our next meeting:

zoom link:

zoom passcode: 582334

Events of Note
Check this space for upcoming events.

Attachment Size
PDF icon EJWGnlSept20.pdf 96.66 KB
PDF icon October 2020 EJWG Bulletin (1).pdf 275.11 KB
PDF icon EJWG Feb 2021 Newsletter.pdf 208.58 KB


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