SOS 494/598: Intersectional Environmentalism and Sustainability
ASU Spring 2021 Cohort - Class Portfolio
About & Goals
This was a student-led, faculty-facilitated course offered by ASU School of Sustainability.
Students led 10 courses involving various intersectional topics.
Students worked on 5 final deliverables throughout the semester.
Students shared their experience and why they liked this course.
Social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion are routinely identified as central concerns within the School of Sustainability, and in sustainability theory and practice more generally. However, there remains a need for bringing greater attention to the ways in which intersectionality within systems of oppression shapes experiences of unsustainability and informs strategies towards transformative change.
The purpose of this student-led, faculty-facilitated seminar was to build on students’ existing knowledge of sustainability by highlighting the experiences and insights of those working towards sustainability and environmental regeneration from BIPOC and feminist perspectives.
This class was initiated and conceptualized by undergraduate student William Walker VI, and organized and led by William and Dr. Sonja Klinksy. During the pandemic, the course was met via Zoom asynchronously. Students learned remotely through live class lectures, discussions, panels, and study groups.
Working within a co-leadership model, students and the faculty member responsible for the course will together map out a plan of action that will accomplish four central goals:
1.) Broaden students’ knowledge about sustainability by enhancing their awareness of a broader range of experiences and entry points into sustainability challenges than is typically included in the ‘sustainability canon’;
2.) Develop students’ capacity to think across multiple forms of knowledge and ways of understanding sustainability, including those created by Indigenous communities;
3.) Model notions of reciprocity by seeking to honor and recognize the contributions of all students and participating community members and work towards building relationships that extend beyond the confines of the course;
4.) Create deliverables that will contribute to the School of Sustainability’s capacity to better represent intersectional perspectives in its approach to sustainability education.
"I genuinely don't know how I created the course. But, I know the why. I wanted to create a space for multiple identities, specifically BIPOC to be represented in sustainability. I always wanted to see more people who like me in these fields, but the ones I saw were outside of my network. Essentially, I was emulating the world as I saw it while creating a space that included the ones who were left out.
Intersectional Environmentalism and Sustainability serves this purpose to educate and restore justice to the ones that environmental history left behind."
- William Walker VI, course creator
Class photo - Spring 2021