Many communities face greater environmental exposures and public health risks due to a history of inequitable environmental policies and access to the decision-making process. Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
EPA and partners have launched the Environmental Justice (EJ) Video Challenge for Students to enhance communities’ capacity to address environmental and public health inequities. The goals of the challenge are to:
- Inspire students at accredited colleges and universities in the United States and its territories to work directly with communities in the identification and characterization of EJ challenges using data and publicly available tools, and
- Help communities (including residents and other stakeholders) address EJ challenges and/or vulnerabilities to environmental and public health hazards using data and publicly available tools.
- Open to undergraduate and graduate students (18 years and older as well as international students under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 102(2)(F)) enrolled in accredited institutions of higher education (including community colleges) across the United States and its territories.
- At least one (1) faculty advisor is required to serve as a mentor to teams participating in the Challenge.
- Only teams who submitted videos in Phase 1 are eligible to participate in Phase 2 of the Challenge.
- There must be at least one (1) team member from Phase 1 who participates as a team member in Phase 2 of the Challenge. This is to help with continuity in cases where students graduate prior to Phase 2 completion.
This EJ Video Challenge for Students is structured in two separate phases, each with their own timelines.
The goal of Phase 1 is for students to create a video to demonstrate innovative approaches to identify and characterize an EJ issue(s) in a select community using data and publicly available tools. Students will submit a video that meets requirements outlined in the Video Submission Requirements – Phase 1 section below.
Students are strongly encouraged to work in teams and identify and collaborate with community organizations that may bring important understanding and perspective to the EJ challenge(s) the community is facing.
Check out EJ Video Challenge: Tools and Data Resources for ideas to get started. Students are welcome to use other data and publicly available tools that are not already listed.
In Phase 2, students will develop a video to display how they used data and publicly available tools to identify strategies and opportunities to address an identified EJ issue(s) and worked with a community-based organization(s) to inform strategies for intervention and/or facilitated effective community engagement and advocacy on the EJ issues. Details on the specific requirements and prizes for Phase 2 will be shared at a later date.