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Lemir Teron


Wednesday October 28, 2020, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm  on Zoom


Environmental Justice in the Aftermath of COVID-19



Early evidence indicates that COVID-19 has propelled racial health disparities and is associated with deepening socioeconomic inequality.  Along with heightened morbidity and mortality for Black Americans, impacts have extended into the economic, housing and education spheres.  It is vital that environmental justice (EJ) claims, which calls for the “safe quality of life for people of all races, incomes and cultures in the environments where we live, work, play, learn and pray”  redoubles efforts that specifically addresses the needs and goals of EJ communities, as many state and local governments have sidelined these concerns as COVID-19 response efforts have been deployed.  Within the midst of the pandemic, cities across the nation (and planet) saw innumerable people take to the streets to confront state supported violence against Black America in the aftermath of George Floyd’s execution.  While the temptation to abstain from linking EJ, pandemic relief and racial justice efforts due to the potential to cynically co-opt and massage messaging is understood, it is necessary to connect our understandings of systemic inequality, so that relief will not be obscured by broader economic or public health policy that do not address systemic and institutional racism that has propelled the status quo.


Lemir Teron is on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Studies at the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry where his research involves urban sustainability, energy policy and environmental justice.  Dr. Teron received his PhD from the University of Delaware and completed a NOAA supported postdoc at the Environmental Cooperative Science Center at Florida A&M University.  Dr. Teron was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Member for Teaching Excellence Award by the SUNY ESF Undergraduate Student Association and received a 2020 Unsung Hero Award at the 35th Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Syracuse, New York for his commitment to racial and environmental justice in Central New York.   (Webpage)