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 Environmental Reporting Fellowships

Contact: Sunshine Menezes
Executive Director
(401) 874-6499

Distinguished Professor to Outline
Environmental Justice and America's Future

Agenda | News Release

For immediate release

NARRAGANSETT, RI – September 1, 2006: For nearly 20 years, civil rights leaders, academics, and legislators have argued that biases in environmental policy and long-standing economic discrimination in America have together created a disproportionate amount of hazardous pollution among the poor and communities of color. In seeking to redress these inequities, a movement toward environmental justice has evolved, bringing about debate some equity-based policy, but also over whether environmental discrimination actually exists. Phil Brown will discuss this debate and the outlook for urban development, public health, and the aftermath of Katrina from an environmental justice perspective in his lecture, "Environmental Justice: Integrating Science, People, and Policy" on Wednesday, September 6, at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.

Phil Brown, professor of sociology and environmental studies at Brown University, has focused recent research on environmental impacts on health, and his book dealing with the public debates over environmental causes of health problems, "Contested Illnesses: Toward a New Environmental Health Movement," will be published by Columbia University Press in Spring 2007. He recently received two National Science Foundation grants to study the impacts of Hurricane Katrina, with a special focus on the role of environmental justice and community organizations in dealing with recovery and reconstruction.

Brown's public lecture is part of the Diversity Fellowships in Environmental Reporting sponsored by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. The fellowship program provides six minority reporters with independent study in marine and environmental science at the University of Rhode Island during September, and nine-month environmental reporting assignments at news media outlets, including the Christian Science Monitor, The Providence Journal, The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.), NOVA Science Television, WBUR and WGBH The World.

The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting was formed in 1997 to provide science training for journalists to help improve the clarity and accuracy of science-based reporting. Metcalf Institute offers training fellowships and seminars for reporters and editors; a monthly e-newsletter for environmental reporters; public lectures on environmental science, journalism and public policy; and administers The Grantham Prize, an annual $75,000 award for exemplary reporting on the environment. The Metcalf Institute was named in honor of the late publisher of The Providence Journal, Michael P. Metcalf, and was established with funding from the Belo Corporation, The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, The Washington Post’s Philip L. Graham Fund, and the Telaka Foundation.

Brown's lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6, 2006, in the Coastal Institute at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.

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September 1, 2006