Do you ever think about the future and dream of a world that is more equitable and just? I dream about that nearly every night. I wonder what that future world will look like and how do we all get there? At Pacific Northwest Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice (JFI), questions like this and many others are being explored.
JFI is made possible in part from a $4.52 million dollar grant awarded to the University of Oregon (UO) in January 2021 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation along with contributions made by many people including my current mentor and advisor, Dr. Alaí Reyes-Santos. I am currently an intern at JFI and work with Dr. Reyes-Santos and a team that is diverse in both skills and knowledge. This internship meets my Masters in Conflict and Dispute Resolution (CRES) program requirements at UO School of Law in addition to helping me answer those important questions of what a “just” world looks like and how do we all get there?
My role on the JFI team is Project Manager for two projects our team is working on, Oregon Water Futures (OWF) and Healers/Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). I also serve as a liaison between OWF and Oregon Health Authority (OHA). As part of my OHA Liaison role, I attend planning meetings on a conference that is being planned for January 2022 and share input from the OWF team and help our team stay updated related to this work.
There are many moving pieces involved in my internship due to the multiple projects and the many people and organizations involved in moving the projects along. For example, OWF is collaborating with multiple partner organizations including: Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Chinook Indian Nation, NAACP Eugene-Springfield, EUVALCREE, and Unite Oregon. The OWF team is composed of Verde, Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), Willamette Partnership (WP), Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) and University of Oregon Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies Department. All this to say that when we imagine what a just future world looks like and we think about how we get there, we must include everyone's perspectives and ensure that everyone's voice is heard.
The effort to create a more equitable world is not done alone but together.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Future blogs will include topics related to my work at JFI and my CRES program where I am working on becoming an Environmental Conflict Specialist.
Wishing you all the best, Rose.
I am a Graduate Student at the University of Oregon (UO) School of Law studying Conflict and Dispute Resolution. I did my undergraduate work at UO majoring in General Social Science with a concentration in Globalization, Environment, and Policy.