Climate Justice meets Global Health in the time of COVID-19

May 4, 2020 webinar convened by Great Cities Institute and the Center for Global Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago

This forum brought together stakeholders that focus on the climate justice dimensions of climate change (environmental and economic justice with an ethical/political dimensions) and global public health (health conditions related to injury, non-communicable disease, communicable diseases) and identified intersections as they relate to issues of equity, justice, risk reduction and making cities resilient.

Keynote Speaker

Jonathan Patz, M.D., MPH, is director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a professor and the John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. For 15 years, Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC)—the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. He also co-­chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the U.S. Congress.

Panelists

Juliana Pino is the Policy Director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). Born in Tuluá, Colombia, and raised in both Colombia and the United States, Juliana’s personal life is transnational and her background is interdisciplinary. At LVEJO, Juliana analyzes, researches, and advocates for environmental justice, climate justice, and economic justice in local, state, and federal environmental policy. LVEJO’s campaigns cross many areas, including energy, food, water, air, land use, brownfields, toxics, transportation, workforce development, and others. Her work focuses on: advancing energy democracy and community self-determination in regulatory and policy arenas; creating just transition with meaningful collaborative and participatory management of shared environmental resources; and centering frontline community leaders as generators of transformative policy ideas and governance models.

Warren Lavey is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Illinois, teaching environmental law and policy in the College of Law and Campus Honors Program in Champaign, and in the School of Public Health in Chicago.  He trains health, law and other students on climate competencies and policy advocacy.  After practicing law in the federal government and a global law firm for 30 years, he advises government agencies and nonprofit organizations on sustainability programs and policies.  He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in law and applied mathematics from Harvard University, and a graduate degree in economics from Cambridge University.

Jerry Krishnan is Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Services of the University of Illinois Health system and Professor of Pulmonary Care at the University of Illinois at Chicago with expertise in the care of patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung disorders. He is a principal investigator of multiple clinical trials supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute that focus on identifying the most effective treatments and educational and support programs to improve health outcomes for patients with pulmonary disorders. Krishnan was chairman of of the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is a member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance Respiratory Measurement Advisory Panel, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Clinical Trials Review Committee.

Rachel Havrelock is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, co-founder of the UIC Freshwater Lab, and author of River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (University of Chicago Press, 2011). After writing about how the conflicted borders of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict formed and congealed in Palestinian and Israeli cultures for River Jordan, Rachel became invested in water sharing as an approach to Middle East peacemaking. Havrelock’s current book project, Pipeline: How Oil Created the Modern Middle East and How Water Can Transform It, chronicles the role of oil extraction and infrastructure in the militarization of the Middle East and suggests how regional water management could transform the landscape.

Pam Tau Lee, Asian American elder activist and organizer and retired from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, UC Berkeley. She was a participant at the People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991 and a contributor to the Principles of Environmental Justice. She is a co-founder of the Just Transition Alliance, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Chinese Progressive Association and a representative to the Grassroots Global Justice, Rising Majority and current chairperson of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines.

Dallas Goldtooth (Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine) travels extensively across Turtle Island to help fossil fuel and hard rock mining impacted communities tell their stories thru social media, video, and other forms of communication. Dallas is an Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) media team lead, working with IEN staff, board, and organizational partners from a diverse group of climate justice networks. Along with his many tasks and duties with IEN, he is also a Dakota cultural/language teacher, non-violent direct action trainer, and was one of the outstanding Water Protectors at Standing Rock/Oceti Sakowin Camp fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. In addition, he is a co-founder of the Indigenous comedy group, The 1491s, a poet, journalist, traditional artist, powwow emcee, and comedian.

José Bravo is the Executive Director for the Just Transition Alliance (JTA), where he works directly with Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities and Labor (organized and unorganized) to develop best practices and build meaningful and impactful alliances. José is also the National Campaign Coordinator of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS), a community driven campaign towards healthier discount stores. Bravo’s work in social justice issues is rooted from his upbringing in the Southern California fields alongside both his parents. Bravo has also been doing work on immigrant rights issues since his days as a student organizer in the 80’s to the present. His participation in the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement since 1990, has over the years gained him recognition as a national and international leader in the EJ movement and founding member and national and international leader in the Just Transition Movement.

Michele Roberts has provided technical assistance and advocacy support to communities regarding the impacts of toxins on human health and the environment for over 20 years. She also is a spoken word artist, who created Arts Slam @ SsAMS, a community-based arts program created to advance social justice. She is a proud graduate of an Historically Black College and University. Prior to serving as an advocate, Michele worked as an environmental scientist in the government. She currently serves as the national Co-Coordinator of a National Coalition known as the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform. The Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform is a national, intergenerational grassroots coalition of over 30 groups in 13 states and includes supportive allies such as National Black Farmers Association, National Indian Farmers Association and National Womens Farmers Association in the US.

Moderators

Janet Lin, MD, MPH, MBA
Director of Health Systems Development,
UIC Center for Global Health

Teresa Córdova, PhD – Biography
Director and Professor,
UIC Great Cities Institute

ONLINE WEBINAR: Climate Justice meets Global Health in the time of COVID-19

This event is moving online to a Zoom webinar. To receive the link to participate, please RSVP below.

Jonathan Patz, M.D., MPH, is director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a professor and the John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. For 15 years, Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC)—the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. He also co-­chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the U.S. Congress.

Juliana Pino is the Policy Director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). Born in Tuluá, Colombia, and raised in both Colombia and the United States, Juliana’s personal life is transnational and her background is interdisciplinary. At LVEJO, Juliana analyzes, researches, and advocates for environmental justice, climate justice, and economic justice in local, state, and federal environmental policy. LVEJO’s campaigns cross many areas, including energy, food, water, air, land use, brownfields, toxics, transportation, workforce development, and others. Her work focuses on: advancing energy democracy and community self-determination in regulatory and policy arenas; creating just transition with meaningful collaborative and participatory management of shared environmental resources; and centering frontline community leaders as generators of transformative policy ideas and governance models.

Warren Lavey is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Illinois, teaching environmental law and policy in the College of Law and Campus Honors Program in Champaign, and in the School of Public Health in Chicago.  He trains health, law and other students on climate competencies and policy advocacy.  After practicing law in the federal government and a global law firm for 30 years, he advises government agencies and nonprofit organizations on sustainability programs and policies.  He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in law and applied mathematics from Harvard University, and a graduate degree in economics from Cambridge University.

Jerry Krishnan is Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Services of the University of Illinois Health system and Professor of Pulmonary Care at the University of Illinois at Chicago with expertise in the care of patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung disorders. He is a principal investigator of multiple clinical trials supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute that focus on identifying the most effective treatments and educational and support programs to improve health outcomes for patients with pulmonary disorders. Krishnan was chairman of of the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is a member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance Respiratory Measurement Advisory Panel, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Clinical Trials Review Committee.

Rachel Havrelock is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, co-founder of the UIC Freshwater Lab, and author of River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (University of Chicago Press, 2011). After writing about how the conflicted borders of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict formed and congealed in Palestinian and Israeli cultures for River Jordan, Rachel became invested in water sharing as an approach to Middle East peacemaking. Havrelock’s current book project, Pipeline: How Oil Created the Modern Middle East and How Water Can Transform It, chronicles the role of oil extraction and infrastructure in the militarization of the Middle East and suggests how regional water management could transform the landscape.

Pam Tau Lee, Asian American elder activist and organizer and retired from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, UC Berkeley. She was a participant at the People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991 and a contributor to the Principles of Environmental Justice. She is a co-founder of the Just Transition Alliance, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Chinese Progressive Association and a representative to the Grassroots Global Justice, Rising Majority and current chairperson of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines.

Dallas Goldtooth (Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine) travels extensively across Turtle Island to help fossil fuel and hard rock mining impacted communities tell their stories thru social media, video, and other forms of communication. Dallas is an Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) media team lead, working with IEN staff, board, and organizational partners from a diverse group of climate justice networks. Along with his many tasks and duties with IEN, he is also a Dakota cultural/language teacher, non-violent direct action trainer, and was one of the outstanding Water Protectors at Standing Rock/Oceti Sakowin Camp fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. In addition, he is a co-founder of the Indigenous comedy group, The 1491s, a poet, journalist, traditional artist, powwow emcee, and comedian.

José Bravo is the Executive Director for the Just Transition Alliance (JTA), where he works directly with Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities and Labor (organized and unorganized) to develop best practices and build meaningful and impactful alliances. José is also the National Campaign Coordinator of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS), a community driven campaign towards healthier discount stores. Bravo’s work in social justice issues is rooted from his upbringing in the Southern California fields alongside both his parents. Bravo has also been doing work on immigrant rights issues since his days as a student organizer in the 80’s to the present. His participation in the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement since 1990, has over the years gained him recognition as a national and international leader in the EJ movement and founding member and national and international leader in the Just Transition Movement.

Michele Roberts has provided technical assistance and advocacy support to communities regarding the impacts of toxins on human health and the environment for over 20 years. She also is a spoken word artist, who created Arts Slam @ SsAMS, a community-based arts program created to advance social justice. She is a proud graduate of an Historically Black College and University. Prior to serving as an advocate, Michele worked as an environmental scientist in the government. She currently serves as the national Co-Coordinator of a National Coalition known as the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform. The Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform is a national, intergenerational grassroots coalition of over 30 groups in 13 states and includes supportive allies such as National Black Farmers Association, National Indian Farmers Association and National Womens Farmers Association in the US.

If the above RSVP form is not working, please email gcities@uic.edu to RSVP.

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How the coronavirus and Chicago’s gun violence are related

A key link between violence and the coronavirus are large numbers of alienated young people on Chicago’s South and West Side, write the authors. Getty/Chicago Sun-Times

Roberto Aspholm and John Hagedorn, two of the co-authors of the GCI report “The Fracturing of Gangs and Violence in Chicago: A Research-Based Reorientation of Violence Prevention and Intervention Policy” wrote an opinion piece for the Chicago Sun-Times on the relationship between COVID-19 and Chicago’s gun violence. Race and poverty are some of the factors they attribute to the disparate impacts on communities.

Full Story from Chicago Sun-Times »

POSTPONED: Building Bridges: Community and University Partnerships in East St. Louis

Join us as Professor Kenneth Reardon discusses his new book, Building Bridges, which tells the 10-year saga of how an inspired group of women activists from East St. Louis established a long-term partnership with students and faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to revitalize their community.

It is an uplifting story of a small group of women, inspired by the Civil Rights work of Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Katherine Dunham, who organized a highly effective grassroots movement to insure their neighbors and future generations living wage jobs, quality affordable housing, fresh fruits and vegetables, accessible health care and transformative public education. This book will remind you of the wisdom of Margaret Mead’s observation, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

For disability accommodations, please contact Christiana Kinder, (312) 996-8700, christia@uic.edu.

If the above RSVP form is not working, please email gcities@uic.edu to RSVP.

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The Future of Warehouse Work: Technological Change in the U.S. Logistics Industry

Authors
Beth Gutelius, GCI Senior Research Specialist and Associate Director of the Center for Urban Economic Development
Nik Theodore, GCI Fellow, Professor of Urban Planning and Policy and Director fo the Center for Urban Economic Development

Abstract
Are “dark” warehouses, humming along without humans, just around the corner? Predictions of dramatic job loss due to technology adoption and automation often highlight warehousing as an industry on the brink of transformation. The potential elimination of many blue-collar jobs is a pressing issue for policy makers and raises important questions about how workers will fare in the economy of the future.

In contrast to reports focusing only on the number of jobs that could be lost, our research offers an in-depth, detailed look at the range of ways in which warehouse work and the industry as a whole might change with the adoption of new technology over the next five to 10 years. The findings in this report are based on in-depth industry research and extensive interviews with a broad set of stakeholders, including industry analysts and consultants, third-party logistics (3PL) operators, retailers, brands, and technology providers. Specifically, we sought to find out:

  1. What key industry dynamics are playing a role in technological change?
  2. How will adoption of new technologies impact warehouse facilities and operations, as well as the overall organization of the industry?
  3. What tasks and processes are the highest priorities for technological application, and how might adoption of new technologies impact jobs in warehousing?

Full Text available from UC Berkeley Labor Center » 

In the media:
Automation is Making Warehouse Work Harder, Not Smarter »
Robots aren’t taking warehouse employees’ jobs, they’re making their work harder »

CANCELLED: UTC Event: Transportation Planning to Improve Access to Healthcare

April 16, 2020 — Noon to 1:00 pm
UTC Spring Seminar Series
Speaker: 
Erin Aleman, Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Topic: Transportation Planning to Improve Access to Healthcare
Venue: Great Cities Institute Conference Room, Suite 400, 412 S. Peoria St., Chicago

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POSTPONED: Fair Fares Chicagoland: Advocating for Equitable Transit

This event has been postponed. A new date will be announced at a later time.

Join Lynda Lopez, advocacy manager at the Active Transportation Alliance, alongside Andrea Reed and Linda Thisted, co-chairs of the Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric for a discussion on Fair Fares.

Last November, Active Trans released the Fair Fares report, offering recommendations for fare equity in the region. Some of the recommendations include fare-capping, discounted fares for low-income residents, and testing the South Cook Fair Transit Pilot. This conversation will feature an overview of the report and a conversation with local leaders working for faster and more affordable transit service on the South Side.

Linda Thisted
Linda has an MBA from the University of Chicago and worked for the Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant for 12 years.  She was trained in community organizing by the Gameliel Foundation, and has been active in faith-based organizing since the late 1990s, first with the Metropolitan Alliance of Congregations and then with Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL).  She has organized and run a number of successful campaigns, including an effort to provide recreational opportunities in Bronzeville, which resulted in the building of the $17M Ellis Park Arts and Recreation Center several years ago.  She has lived in Hyde Park for over 40 years.

Andrea D. Reed, Executive Director Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Reed has been the Executive Director for the Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) since it’s’ inception in April 2009. She is on the board of Illinois Green Alliance (newly elected 2020), Preservation Chicago, and Women Gathering for Justice; and Commissioner for the Special Service Area #71. Ms. Reed taught mortgage licensing classes through the continuing education department at Harold Washington College and Malcolm X College and she teaches biblical and financial literacy classes at her church (Salem Baptist Church of Chicago). Ms. Reed is life and health licensed (Illinois) and works with families to provide financial wellness education. Ms. Reed plans to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from DeVry University.

Lynda Lopez
Lynda Lopez is a writer and transportation advocate in Chicago. Lynda is an Advocacy Manager with the Active Transportation Alliance and recently co-authored a report on fair equity in the Chicagoland region. She has previously written for Streetsblog Chicago focusing on equity issues around housing displacement, biking, and transportation in communities of color. As an avid bike advocate, she is the southwest side representative for the Mayor’s Bike Advisory Council. She also serves on the Metropolitan Planning Council’s transportation committee. On the national level, Lynda is a core organizer with the Untokening, a multiracial collective centering the lived experiences of marginalized communities to address mobility justice and equity and is a member of the Innovations in Transportation Equity for Latino Communities workgroup at UT Health San Antonio. Lynda is a part of Transit Center’s inaugural Women Changing Transit Mentorship Program.

For disability accommodations, please contact Christiana Kinder, (312) 996-8700, christia@uic.edu.

If the above RSVP form is not working, please email gcities@uic.edu to RSVP.

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POSTPONED: Views from the Streets: The Transformation of Gangs and Violence on Chicago’s South Side

This event has been postponed. A new date will be announced at a later time.

Join us as Roberto R. Aspholm discusses his new book, Views from the Streets: The Transformation of Gangs and Violence on Chicago’s South Side. Chicago has long served as a symbol of urban pathology in the public imagination. The city’s staggering levels of violence and entrenched gang culture occupy a central place in the national discourse, yet remain poorly understood and are often stereotyped. Views from the Streets explains the dramatic transformation of black street gangs on Chicago’s South Side during the early twenty-first century, shedding new light on why gang violence persists and what might be done to address it.

Drawing on years of community work and in-depth interviews with gang members, Roberto R. Aspholm describes in vivid detail the internal rebellions that shattered the city’s infamous corporate-style African American street gangs. He explores how, in the wake of these uprisings, young gang members have radically refashioned gang culture and organization on Chicago’s South Side, rejecting traditional hierarchies and ideologies and instead embracing a fierce ethos of personal autonomy that has made contemporary gang violence increasingly spontaneous and unregulated. In calling attention to the historical context of these issues and to the elements of resistance embedded in Chicago’s contemporary gang culture, Aspholm challenges conventional views of gang members as inherently pathological. He critically analyzes highly touted “universal” violence prevention strategies, depicting street-level realities to illuminate why they have ultimately failed to reduce levels of bloodshed. An unprecedented analysis of the nature and meaning of gang violence, Views from the Streets proposes an alternative framework for addressing the seemingly intractable issues of inequality, despair, and violence in Chicago.

For disability accommodations, please contact Christiana Kinder, (312) 996-8700, christia@uic.edu.

If the above RSVP form is not working, please email gcities@uic.edu to RSVP.

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All Eyes on the Coronavirus

Our thoughts are with all of you, hoping that you are all warm and safe. We are, of course, sensitive to those whose health or livelihoods are being most directly affected and hopeful that this crisis will not result in the further exacerbations of structural inequalities. We are appreciative of the leadership from our state and local governments and recognize the critical role of public health officials, health care workers, those managing public services and infrastructure and the many others who are providing grounding during this societal earthquake.

There are still many uncertainties and much to think about as the world responds to the realities of something that scientists who study viruses have warned us about for decades.  As a research institute, we have been paying attention to the mathematics and science of this pandemic.  We also took another look at a report from the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board from September 2019 that provided “a snapshot of where the world stands in its ability to prevent and contain a global health threat.” Observing that recommendations from the many previous panels and commissions had been either “poorly implemented or not implemented at all,” the report identifies serious gaps in emergency systems to prepare for eventual pandemics. The Monitoring Board asserts that we seem to be better at responding to crises rather than preparing for them.

For too long, we have allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics: we ramp up efforts when there is a serious threat, then quickly forget about them when the threat subsides. It is well past time to act.

As we think about the world’s response to this pandemic, we thought we would share a link to the report along with a post about its findings.

The report, titled, A World at Risk:  Annual Report on Global Preparedness for Health Emergencies, identifies “seven urgent actions” (along with timelines) that involve investments from governments; countries and regional organizations leading by example; building strong systems; preparing for the worst; financing institutions linking preparedness with financial risk planning; development assistance funders creating incentives and increasing funding for preparedness; and The United Nations strengthening coordination mechanisms.

The Monitoring Board calls for many of their recommended steps to be completed by September 2020.  With regard to building strong systems, they recommend that

Heads of government must appoint a national high-level coordinator with authority and political accountability to lead whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches, and routinely conduct multisectoral simulation exercises to establish and maintain effective preparedness. They must prioritize community involvement in all preparedness efforts, building trust and engaging multiple stakeholders (e.g. legislators; representatives of the human and animal health, security and foreign affairs sectors; the private sector; local leaders; and women and youth).

This 2019 report states that, “Countries, donors and multilateral institutions must be prepared for the worst:”

A rapidly spreading pandemic due to a lethal respiratory pathogen (whether naturally emergent or accidentally or deliberately released) poses additional preparedness requirements. Donors and multilateral institutions must ensure adequate investment in developing innovative vaccines and therapeutics, surge manufacturing capacity, broad-spectrum antivirals and appropriate non-pharmaceutical interventions. All countries must develop a system for immediately sharing genome sequences of any new pathogen for public health purposes along with the means to share limited medical countermeasures across countries.

There will be much grieving over lost lives and the impacts of COVID-19 are likely to be will be with us for a long time to come. Yet some countries are doing a better job than others at containing its spread, providing health care, and minimizing financial disruptions.  What can we learn from them?

This time, we don’t just want to respond to this crisis but prepare ourselves for subsequent ones.  Or even better, might we start looking for the sources of these health crises and find ways to prevent them?  Perhaps we can start by seeing the connections between these new viral strains and the disruptions of ecosystems and the destruction of natural habitats.  These are big issues requiring big solutions, international collaborations, and a focus on the public good over privatized greed.  We all have a stake in how this plays out and it is encouraging to see our collective response to help keep one another safe. We look forward to the creativity that may emerge from this crisis along with a healthy respect for the sacredness of Mother Earth and a commitment to our children’s future.

How Hourly and Gig Workers Are Grappling With Coronavirus

Tyrone Turner / WAMU

Beth Gutelius, associate director of UIC’s Center for Urban Economic Development and senior researcher at the Great Cities Institute at UIC, is interviewed in an online story from NPR’s Washington D.C. affiliate WAMU-FM that examines the potential impacts of coronavirus on hourly workers and independent contractors in the U.S.

When examining the potential impacts of coronavirus on U.S. workers, it’s a “crisis that exists at the intersection of three things: exposure, job quality and employment classification,” says Beth Gutelius, research director for the Center for Urban Economic Development at University of Illinois, Chicago.

Full Story from WAMU-FM »