December 22, 2022
Watch the release of the Sustainable Solutions Lab's report "Voices that Matter: Boston Area Residents of Color Discuss Climate Change" by Assistant Professor Lorena Estrada-Martinez (School for the Environment), Professor and Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies Paul Watanabe (College of Liberal Arts), and Ph.D. candidate Katsyris Rivera-Kientz (College of Liberal Arts).
This report is a continuation of the 2020 report, "Views that Matter: Race and Opinions on Climate Change of Boston Area Residents," which surveyed 964 Boston area residents about their opinions on the existence of climate change, its causes, manifestations, preparations for its impacts, and the policy and personal responses needed to address it. The authors worked to further amplify the voices of Greater Boston’s Asian American, Black, Latino, and Native American residents of color by conducting in-depth focus group discussions to build upon their previous findings. The research centers around: the health impacts of climate change, climate change preparedness, and the ways that individuals and government can address climate change.
The main objective in this report is to highlight residents’ insights and personal experiences.
October 21, 2022
This event was a conversation with the authors of "Building Something Better: Environmental Crises and the Promise of Community Change," Stephanie Malin, PhD, and Meghan Kallman, PhD (SSL Faculty Affiliate, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development). It was moderated by Chidimma Ozor Commer, LLMSW, MSW, MA (SSL Graduate Student, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development).
Drs Malin and Kallman’s book illuminates the flaws and gifts of the field and discipline of sociology while encouraging readers to be community changemakers in their respective spheres of influence to dismantle exclusion, neoliberalism, and complacency while recognizing the role that power, privilege, and positionality play in this important work.
The event consisted of a robust conversation about why we do what we do and how we can forge new paths using what is working and discarding what is not for the betterment of our communities, our planet, and ourselves.
August 1, 2022
Indigenous people throughout the world bear a disproportionate burden of the climate crisis. This virtual panel explores how Indigenous communities are applying traditional ecological knowledge to address these impacts. In it, three Indigenous community members, activists, and scholars share their experiences and knowledge as they face climate change.
The panelists address the following questions: How are their communities responding to climate change? What role does traditional ecological knowledge play in mitigating the impacts of climate change? How do tribal, regional, and educational institutions work to educate people about and mitigate the harm from the ecological and political implications of the crisis? What are the implications for climate justice?
This panel was originally hosted in English. Here is the panel with Spanish translation.
June 3, 2022
In the Northeast, extreme heat and drought may seem inconsequential when it comes to our list of weather woes. However, increasingly hot summers and lower levels of groundwater are showing us that those issues are not limited to the Western US – infamous for forest fires and drought. This Climate Adaptation Forum brings in a diverse panel of speakers who explore what we can learn from practitioners across the country who are already feeling the heat, as well as what our region is doing to mitigate these critical threats to our public and environmental health.
May 6, 2022
As Indigenous people throughout the world bear a disproportionate burden of the climate crisis, The Sustainable Solutions Lab held a virtual panel where four Maya farmers and gardeners and an environmental grassroots organizer from the Yucatan Peninsula shared their experience and knowledge as they face climate change.
The panel addresses the following questions: How are their traditional practices being impacted? What role does traditional ecological knowledge play in mitigating them? How do local grassroots organizations work in the Maya forest to address the ecological and political implications of the crisis? What are the implications for climate justice?
This panel was originally hosted in Spanish. Here is the panel with English translation.
April 15, 2022
The Sustainable Solutions Lab held a briefing on the report, “Learning from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program in the Greater Boston Region.” This report is a case study of Massachusetts that looks at the design and implementation of the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program in several cities and towns in the Commonwealth, with an emphasis on the Greater Boston Region. The research focuses on facilitated local planning processes and their outcomes and the extent to which the program incorporates elements of environmental justice in planning processes and project implementation.
April 4, 2022
While a lot of work is engaging with the intersection of the substantive issues of climate justice and structural racism, it often isn't coordinated and visible. How do we build a broader audience to address these intersections? This conversation is an opportunity for the entire campus community to deepen its understanding of how climate justice is deeply related to the social, economic and public health crises of our present moment. This forum brings scholars, activists, practitioners across disciplines together to hear from nationally-acclaimed leaders in this effort and participate in a Q&A session at the end of the panel.
The Sankofa Conversation Series began in the fall of 2020 and is organized and curated by Dr. Tony Van Der Meer and Dr. Keith Jones. As recipients of the Sustainable Solutions Lab's 2021 Summer Funding, which is supported by the Barr Foundation, they applied their stipend toward this event. Dr. Van Der Meer and Dr. Jones are also recent co-recipients of the 2021 Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award.
January 18, 2022
This is a briefing on our working paper "Opportunity in the Complexity: Recommendations for Equitable Climate Resilience in East Boston” by PhD candidate Patricio Belloy (McCormack Graduate School), Assistant Professor Antonio Raciti (School for the Environment), and PhD candidate Katsyris Rivera-Kientz (College of Liberal Arts). This research was funded in part by a grant from McCormack Dean’s Office.
- Also found in Spanish here
October 22, 2021
As part of a panel of UMass Boston experts, SSL Director Rebecca Herst shared work being done at the university at the nexus of the physical, social, economic, and ecological adaptations that will create more climate-resilient communities. The conversation was moderated by Steve Curwood, Executive Producer and Host of Living on Earth. Speakers included UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Cathy Stone, President of the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, Ellen Douglas, Associate Dean of the School for the Environment, Bob Chen, Dean of the School for the Environment, Paul Kirshen, Director of the Stone Living Laboratory, and Jim Canales, President and Trustee of the Barr Foundation.
October 13, 2021
Associate Professor Rosalyn Negrón, Assistant Professor Lorena Estrada-Martinez, and Assistant Professor Marisol Negrón held a conversation on the below climate justice research in Puerto Rico in celebration of Latinidad and Hispanic Heritage Month. The conversation was moderated by graduate student Katsyris Rivera-Kientz.
"Social & Moral Factors in Post-Hurricane Maria Evacuation Decisions: Implications for Puerto Ricans Well-Being"
Project team: Associate Professor Rosalyn Negrón, Assistant Professor Marisol Negrón, Assistant Professor Lorena Estrada-Martinez, and Northeastern Professor Daniel Aldrich
Examines factors, such as moral discourse about PR's future and social ties within PR and the diaspora, that shaped Puerto Ricans’ evacuation decisions after Hurricane Maria. Ultimately, the study aims to understand how these factors influenced Puerto Ricans' mental health, whether they stayed or left.
"Community Driven Assessment of Environmental Health Risks in Vieques, Puerto Rico"
Project team: Assistant Professor Lorena Estrada-Martinez, Associate Professor Rosalyn Negrón, School for Environment Interim Dean and Professor Bob Chen, Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy Lorna Rivera
Examines health risks in Vieques, Puerto Rico, resulting from contamination created by decades of U.S. military occupation (including the use of chemical and biological weapons).
September 28, 2021
The Sustainable Solutions Lab and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy held a briefing on a joint working paper, “Climate and Housing Crisis: A Research Agenda for Urban Communities.”
This paper explored several key questions, including: - What community characteristics support successful implementation of residential development projects that are affordable and sustainable? - How can a social cost-benefit analysis quantify social and environmental impacts so that projects that are not financially feasible using conventional metrics can be attractive? - How can analytic methods be used to yield insights into designing policy instruments?
Report Authors: Michael P. Johnson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, Patricio Belloy, Doctoral Candidate in the Public Policy PhD program, Heather MacLean, Graduate of the Urban Planning and Community Development Master’s Program, Sajani Kandel, Doctoral Candidate in the Environmental Sciences PhD Program
June 4, 2021
Global migration in response to climate impacts is beginning to accelerate. In fact, according to a recent model by the New York Times and ProPublica, migration increases substantially as the climate changes. Migrants move for many reasons and our domestic and international policies have a big influence on not only how livable other countries remain in the face of climate change but how well migrants are able to join life in the United States. Join the Climate Adaptation Forum for a conversation about migration- both international and internal. Hear from municipalities that are building infrastructure to welcome new residents and from experts at the international scale who are grappling with broad issues of displacement and migration.
May 26, 2021
This is Part 4 in the Sustainable Solutions Lab's Climate Justice Partnership series, which focuses on successful collaborations between community organizations, city officials, and researchers. Ibrahim López-Hernández, a climate justice organizer from GreenRoots, and Madeleine Scammell, an Associate Professor at Boston University School of Public Health, joined us for a discussion about their collaboration on the Chelsea and East Boston Heat (C-HEAT) Study (https://www.c-heatproject.org/). The conversation was moderated by The Hyams Foundation's Executive Director Lisa Owens.
May 18, 2021
On May 18, 2021, Erin Genia, Artist-in-Residence at the City of Boston, and Meghan Venable-Thomas, Cultural Resilience Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners, discussed the wisdom and beauty of different cultures, cultural organizing and artistic expression in the development of resilient and sustainable communities. The conversation was moderated by Kim Szeto, Public Art Program Director at the New England Foundation for the Arts.
May 5, 2021
This is Part 3 in the Sustainable Solutions Lab's Climate Justice Partnership series, which focuses on successful collaborations between community organizations, city officials, and researchers. Nancy Meza and Brenda Santoyo, community organizers from The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, and Cyatharine Alias, an Urban Resilience Project Associate from CNT, joined us for a discussion about their collaboration on a water and health study in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. The conversation was moderated by UMass Boston Assistant Professor Elizabeth L. Sweet, who is also the Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Planning and Community Development.
April 14, 2021
This is Part 2 in the Sustainable Solutions Lab's Climate Justice Partnership series, which focuses on successful collaborations between community organizations, city officials, and researchers. Mayra Cruz, the climate resilience program manager at Catalyst Miami, and Tiffany Troxler, a research scientist the organization partnered with on a heat study called "Miami Shade," joined us for a discussion about the use of data-driven citizen science when addressing public health issues emerging from the climate crisis. The conversation was moderated by Nancy Smith from the Boston Public Health Commission
April 1, 2021
On April 1, we kicked off our Climate Justice Partnerships series featuring a conversation between Amy Chester of Rebuild by Design and Damaris Reyes of Good Old Lower East Side, moderated by Sanjay Seth. Amy and Damaris spoke frankly about the challenges they faced in their partnership and how they overcame them as they collaborated on equitable rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Watch below.
March 5, 2021
Join the Climate Adaptation Forum to explore the role of municipalities in climate adaptation. Experts from New England and beyond will discuss innovative adaptation strategies being implemented in their communities, state programs and frameworks that are facilitating local action, trends in financing local adaptation projects, and other important topics.
November 20, 2020
Join the Climate Adaptation Forum as we explore initiatives to improve transportation resilience and equity, and the resilience of the communities that rely on this infrastructure. We will hear from experts from around the country who work on various modes of transportation, who are thinking creatively about how to adapt and protect our infrastructure and make it responsive to changing needs.
Sustainable Solutions Lab
100 Morrissey Blvd.