Environmental justice is a central component of sustainability politics during the Anthropocene – the current geological age when human activity is the dominant influence on climate and environment. Every aspect of sustainability politics requires a close analysis of its equity implications, and environmental justice provides us with the tools to critically investigate the manifestations and impacts of the Anthropocene as well as the debates over its origins and causes. From its origins as a US movement against environmental racism and other inequities in the early 1980s the scope of environmental justice, as a field of research and as a movement, has broadened enormously as shown in the Environmental Justice Atlas and evidenced by many other initiatives around the world. Global EJ activism and research, in fact, is moving beyond demanding equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits to a call for the structural transformation of the economy and our relationship with nature as a means to address social, political, economic and environmental crises. Environmental Justice CSU, the organizer of this symposium, is a global challenges research team sponsored by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Like its sponsor, EJ CSU is multidisciplinary and multiscalar and committed to rigorous research and public engagement. This symposium aims to bring together academics (faculty and graduate students), independent researchers, community and movement activists, and regulatory and policy practitioners from across disciplines, research areas, perspectives, and different countries. Our overarching goal is to build on several decades of EJ research and practice to address the seemingly intractable environmental and ecological problems of this unfolding era. How can we explore EJ amongst humans and between nature and humans, within and across generations, in an age when humans dominate the landscape? How can we better understand collective human dominance without obscuring continuing power differentials and inequities within and between human societies? What institutional and governance innovations can we adopt to address existing challenges and to promote just transitions and futures?

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