Events & Media



"Environmental Justice:
Redefining t
he Role of Experts"

Caroline Farrell
Executive Director
Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment

Monday, May 18, 2015
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Caroline is an engaging, clear-minded speaker who, based on her 15 years of work with the Central Valley community, can provide Bren students with valuable insights into how experts contribute to environmental justice issues."

— Smadar Levy, Environmental Justice Club Member

Experts play a key role in struggles related to environmental justice. They provide technical information the community can use to demonstrate they are being harmed. They provide communications expertise for the community to tell their story. They provide data that allow communities to protect themselves from disproportionate impacts. However, it is important to note that environmental justice is as much about building power as addressing environmental harms. Experts working with low-income communities and communities of color have the opportunity to share their own power and build the power of the communities with which they work. Caroline Farrell has spent more than fifteen years working as a community lawyer with environmental justice communities. She will share best practices and examples of how technical experts have strengthened community power and improved low-income communities and communities of color.

Caroline Farrell is executive director of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE). For the past fifteen years, she has been working with low-income communities and communities of color, primarily in the southern San Joaquin Valley, on issues related to dairy development, hazardous waste facilities, land application of biosolids, and other industrial sources of pollution. She currently serves as vice-chair of the Steering Committee for the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition. From 2008 to 2010, she served as a member of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on AB 32 for the California Air Resources Board. She sits on the Board of Directors for Communities for a Better Environment, the Planning and Conservation League, and Act for Women and Girls. In addition, Ms. Farrell co-authored (with Luke Cole) “Structural Racism, Structural Pollution and the Need for a New Paradigm” for the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy and authored “SB 115: California’s Response to Environmental Justice — Process over Substance” for the Golden Gate Environmental Law Journal and “A Just Transition: Lessons Learned from the Environmental Justice Movement” for the Duke Forum for Law & Social Change. Ms. Farrell received the 2007 Dr. Zweig Community Health Advocate Award from the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice and OMB Watch’s Rising Star in Public Interest award in 2008.

Caroline graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1999 with Highest Honors. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. 

NOTE: Each academic year, a number of speakers are selected by Bren School MESM and PhD students to present on subjects that may be of particular interest to them. The talks are generally of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is to attact dynamic speakers to whom our students related particularly well, to enhance knowledge and understanding, and to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community..


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