Wallace Stegner Center and EDI team up for Latinx Heritage Month

Sep 05, 2023 | Belonging & Access

By Angela Turnbow

An Overhead View Of Multi-ethnic People's Hand Joining Their Fist To Form CircleThe Wallace Stegner Center kicks off the year in a collaboration with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at Utah Law on Sept. 7 in a cosponsored event, Environmental Justice in Salt Lake City. It will focus on the environmental justice issues seen in Salt Lake City’s west-side communities, including poor air quality, the expansion of I-15, and the Utah Inland Port. Professor Ruhan S. Nagra, Associate Professor of Law, will moderate the panel discussion.

The Stegner Center is thrilled to work with EDI. Jan Nystrom, Associate Director for the Stegner Center, notes that “this is a natural collaboration in light of the College of Law’s new Environmental Justice Clinic,” which Professor Nagra founded. Under Nagra’s leadership, the clinic “partners with low-income communities and communities of color to challenge the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits and ensure meaningful participation in environmental decision-making.”

Nagra also spearheaded this event by identifying topics and inviting community partners to share their experiences and research on these critical issues.

“We invited panelists who are either deeply engaged on the ground in these community-led fights for environmental justice or doing groundbreaking research on these issues,” she says.

The panel discussion will focus on environmental justice issues affecting Latinx communities.

“There are many voices that come up when you talk about environmental impacts, especially in Salt Lake City, but even more so on the west side,” says Bret Alexander, EDI Program Manager for the College of Law. “It comes up all the time. So the many voices we’re trying to aim for and lift up will be the Latinx population that we see here in Salt Lake City and Utah broadly.”

The Stegner Center and EDI will cosponsor another event later this fall for programming on Native American Heritage Month: Laboratories of the Future: Tribes and Rights of Nature.