NAELS 2014: Environmental Justice, Where Are We Now?

Join the Harvard Environmental Law Society for the 26th Annual National Association of Environmental Law Societies Conference on March 28–29, 2014 at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA. In recognition of the 20th anniversary of President Clinton’s Executive Order on Environmental Justice, the theme will be Environmental Justice: Where Are We Now?” The conference will focus on three themes:

  • Progress on the goals of environmental justice,
  • The social justice aspects of today’s national and international environmental movements, and
  • Strategies to ensure that environmental justice is a priority in future environmental work.

The conference will provide a unique opportunity for students to engage with one another and with leading experts in an exciting, inter-disciplinary field. The multi-faceted nature of environmental justice will provide a springboard for discussing climate change, water quality, food policy, and other pressing environmental challenges. Ensuring fair treatment under environmental law and policies for members of all communities is an integral part of the struggle to improve and maintain our environment.

Dr. Robert Bullard, the “father of environmental justice,” will give the opening address on Friday afternoon on the Origins of the Environmental Justice Movement and Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will deliver the Keynote Address on Friday evening. Additional conference highlights include:

  • A plenary address by Environmental Justice activist Mela Bush on the the Importance of Community Organizing;
  • An interview with Professor Gerald Torres, who, as counsel to the Attorney General, drafted the President’s Executive Order on Environmental Justice;
  • An event honoring the life and career of Luke Cole, HLS Class of 1989, and co-founder of the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment; and
  • Breakout sessions with the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies on how to move forward on this pressing topic.

Panel discussions will explore legal strategies to achieve environmental justice, food justice in Massachusetts, urban environmental justice, access to clean energy, rural environmental justice,  and alternative approaches to meeting environmental justice goals.

Any inquiries can be directed to the Harvard Environmental Law Society at Please also feel free to print out copies of the registration form to share with others in your community. We hope to see you in Cambridge on March 28!

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