CSW Welcomes Professor Shalanda Baker as Earth Day Speaker
On April 21, Sustainability Committee hosted an Earth Day assembly featuring guest speaker Professor Shalanda Baker. Professor Baker is the deputy Director for Energy Justice & Secretary’s Advisor on Equity at the United States Department of Energy, where she works on implementing energy policies compatible with energy justice. She is also a professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University.
In sharing the story of how she got into the field of energy justice, Professor Baker spoke about a trip she took to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she came to the realization that in many cases, our efforts to curb catastrophic environmental events can actually be at the expense of local inhabitants, who live in so-called "sacrifice zones" under conditions that pose serious threats to their health.
Baker also shared the alarming fact that 1 in 3 households in the United States experience "energy insecurity," with minority groups and people of color being the most affected. She went on to clarify the difference between climate or environmental justice and energy justice, defining energy justice as, "The goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy system, while also remediating social, economic, and health burdens on those historically harmed by the energy system (frontline communities)."
Thank you, Professor Baker, for a fascinating and informative conversation!