Students will write a 1.5-2 page (single-spaced, 12-pt, Times new roman font, 1-inch margins, APA referencing style) brief about a specific, real-world environmental (in)justice example/case/situation. This brief will consist of:
(1) an overview of the environmental (in)justice issue/problem statement, including background on the issue; information about the community, group, or people being affected; and the extent and significance of the issue;
(2) a description of the history of environmental policy and action taken to address both the environmental and social injustice aspects of the issue, paying particular attention to narrative, art, and grassroots action lead by BIPOC communities (do not leave this out!);
(3) recommendations for future action, intervention, and policy that addresses not just the environmental issues, but, necessarily, social injustice as well. Again, paying particular attention to and citing the voices, recommendations, demands, and goals of grassroots action led by BIPOC and the low-income and BIPOC communities being affected.
Research Project Policy Brief Rubric. Below are the criteria on which your project will be graded. While this is called a “policy” brief and I will refer to “policy” throughout the rubric, you may choose to outline a specific intervention or a specific action instead. In this case, you will just replace the word “intervention” or “action” where you see the word policy. Format: 1.5-2 page (single-spaced, 12-pt, Times new roman font, 1-inch margins, numerical referencing style)
Description of Assignment Think of your Policy Brief as your “foot in the door” with a policymaker. You want to share your ideas about what should be done/a policy with a Senator or Governor, and rather than expecting they have time to read 10 pages of densely written policy, you hand them the brief. If they like what they read in this, they’ll be inclined to ask you for the full document for review. Your policy brief should be to the point and well written in order to attract attention from relevant parties.
Ability to Spark Interest (10%)
Your Policy Brief will introduce the reader to a contemporary environmental (in)justice issue/problem at a clearly defined scale, i.e., is it dealing with a specific neighborhood, city, state, municipality, international agreement, sector (e.g., transportation, water rights, air quality standards and regulations, etc.), or system (e.g., criminal justice system/policy), identify the gaps in relevant policy to date/gaps that must be filled in policy, and then propose a relevant policy to address the challenges. This policy can be an amendment to an existing policy, a policy based off of recommendations from an article or literature review, etc. What is critical is that in the policy brief, it is important that you make the reader care about the issue at hand.
Overall clarity (5pts)
The environmental justice issue must be clearly defined both in concept and scope and the proposed policy solution must (in addition to addressing the challenge) address not just the environmental issue, but, necessarily, social injustice as well. The proposed policy solution must demonstrate command of the environmental justice concepts explored throughout the course.
The policy brief should be laid out with an introduction to the environmental justice issue – including any previous policy or alternative attempts to resolve it, paying particular attention to narrative, art, and grassroots action lead by BIPOC communities (10pts)—and a proposed policy solution that includes actual recommendations for implementation and addresses not just the environmental issues, but, necessarily, social injustice as well (10pts). Things you could consider including a timeline, responsible parties, penalties for non-compliance, frameworks you might use to provide structure to your policy recommendations (e.g., Rights of Nature), or a list of quantifiable/measurable benchmarks of success. You may choose to construct your policy brief as an annotated bulleted list.
Style and Mechanics (5pts)
This assignment requires you to prepare a concise, complete synopsis of your environmental justice issue and policy recommendations. The writing should be succinct and the document should cover all of your major objectives and recommendations. You can be creative with the style as long as it’s cohesive and contains all the necessary elements. You should present a professional, edited, polished, properly cited written document for this assignment. You must have in-text citations (use superscripts, numbers, or footnotes) and a list of references with at least 5 peer-reviewed references. For more information on The Environmental Justice see this: https://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/ecology-and-environmentalism/environmental-studies/environmental-justice
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