Ethics Grand Rounds, March 1, 2024 CST

Inequality & the Environment: Moving from Science to Action that Advances Environmental Justice and Health Equity

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Zoom | Free | Open to the public
Dr. Lara Cushing headshot
Lara Cushing, PhD, MPH

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People of color are more likely to breathe dirty air, drink contaminated water, and live near hazardous waste sites, industrial agriculture operations, and other sources of pollution. The accelerating impacts of climate change are having additional disproportionate effects on minoritized populations. This talk will discuss structural determinants of environmental health disparities and community-engaged research to develop decision-support tools that advance environmental justice.


 

Learning Objectives: After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the unequal burden of environmental health hazards experienced by people of color. 
  • Explain why minoritized populations are at greatest risk of health impacts stemming from pollutant exposures and climate change.
  • Cite examples of community informed decision-support tools to advance environmental justice.
 

This is an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA), hosted by the Center for Bioethics, and co-sponsored by the following U of MN Units: Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, School of Public Health; Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, Office of Academic Clinical Affairs; Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts; College of Pharmacy; Institute on the Environment; Medical School; Program in Health Disparities Research, Medical School; School of Dentistry; School of Public Health; School of Nursing.

 

Speaker(s)

Lara Cushing, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Jonathan and Karin Fielding Presidential Chair in Health Equity at the University of California Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of social inequalities in exposure to environmental hazards. She has assessed the health impacts of environmental and climate-related exposures for pregnant people and infants, and investigated questions of environmental justice in the context of air pollution and hazardous sites, urban greenspace and heat islands, oil and gas production, drinking water quality, and climate change. She is active in community-engaged efforts to develop analytical frameworks and decision-support tools to advance environmental and climate justice policy at the state and national level. 

Dr. Cushing is the recipient of early career fellowships from the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, and the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship. She was a contributing author to the Fourth Assessment Report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was appointed in 2022 to the Scientific Guidance Panel of the California Biomonitoring Program. In 2021 she was awarded the inaugural Best Environmental Justice Paper award from the North American Chapter of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology. Dr. Cushing earned her BS in Molecular Environmental Biology, MPH in Epidemiology, and PhD in Energy & Resources from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to coming to UCLA, she taught on the faculty at San Francisco State University from 2016-2020.