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Environmental Justice

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As a school, we recognize the critical importance of ensuring that all people have equal access to the benefits of a clean and healthy environment. 

Profile image for Rodolfo Dirzo

Rodolfo Dirzo
Associate Dean for Integrative Initiatives on Environmental Justice at The Doerr School of Sustainability

"Historically disenfranchised communities have been on the frontlines of the adverse consequences of the Anthropocene.  

On the one hand, global environmental change — the combined negative effects of land use change, over-exploitation, pollution, and climate change — has a disproportionately negative impact on the sectors of society that contribute the least to it. Furthermore, those communities that have historically been suppressed and marginalized also receive the lesser share of the once bountiful resources of Mother Earth's life-supporting systems. In this context, development of a strong environmental justice culture is imperative if we are to create ethical, just, and resilient solutions for local, regional, and global sustainability. Meeting this challenge is simultaneously an inescapable responsibility and the motivation that drives our mission."


The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability hosts forums and co-hosts conferences to elevate awareness, broaden discourse, and inspire action related to climate change solutions and environmental justice. Recent and upcoming programs include: 

David Pellow describes environmental injustices and need for action in inaugural dean’s lecture

David Pellow

A new dean’s lecture series through the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability launched Dec. 6 with a conversation on environmental justice by David Pellow, a distinguished professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Environmental justice roundtable highlights energy and policy, health, and Indigenous Peoples issues

The second event in a new dean’s lecture series through the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability featured environmental justice experts in energy, environmental health, and Native environmental policy.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability Conference

Global environmental change — the combined effects of land use change, over-exploitation, biotic and abiotic pollution, and climate change — is having a disproportionately stronger impact on the sectors of society that present the least threat to life-supporting systems.

Arun Majumdar
Dean of the Doerr School of Sustainability

“Real change can not happen if we are not actively and deliberately working toward equitable access to environmental benefits and preventing the disproportionate effects of environmental harm.”

Opportunities for students

Minor in Environmental Justice

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability offers a Minor in Environmental Justice to those currently enrolled at Stanford.

Computer science major is first to sign up for Stanford’s new minor in environmental justice

Evan Baldonado

Evan Baldonado, ’23, a third-year student in the School of Engineering and co-director of Students for a Sustainable Stanford, is the first student to adopt a minor in environmental justice. The minor is offered by the Earth Systems Program, which will become part of the new school focused on climate and sustainability.

Impactful research, lifelong skills

Claire Morton, ‘24, took the opportunity to experience methodological research through the Mentoring Undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Research (MUIR) program.


Learn more about research and activities focused on environmental justice.

Environmental Justice Working Group

The Doerr School of Sustainability works in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Working Group. Learn more about the EJWG and their work to embed environmental justice into our research, teaching, and community-engagement at Stanford.

Environmental Justice Working Group