Environmental Justice

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval
Chicano Studies

Dr. Armbruster-Sandoval specializes in urban and racial studies. He is the author of Globalization and Cross-Border Labor Solidarity in the Americas: The Anti-Sweatshop Movement and the Struggle for Social Justice and is currently working on a book titled Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity.

Kum Kum Bhavnani
Sociology/Women Culture and Development

Dr. Bhavnani’s documentary film “Nothing like Chocolate,” offers a glimpse into the global chocolate industry, where there are allegations that enslaved children are used to harvest beans in Ivory Coast, which produces 40% of the world’s cacao. “Nothing Like Chocolate” focuses on the Grenada Chocolate Company founded by Mott Green, as well as on an independent farmer, Nelice Stewart, who grows organic cocoa beans. Green (deceased June 2013) created a worker-owned cooperative which brings profits back to the working shareholders, who include the farmers and all factory workers at the company. The film discusses how solar power and ethical technology can create a sustainable, community-based business, and, therefore, can undermine global unethical practices.

Hilal Elver
Global and International Studies

Hilal Elver is a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, part of the UN Human Rights Council. She has presented two reports to the UNHRC, one on the impact of climate change on the right to food and the other on gender and right to food. She also two book published: Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion and Reimagining Climate Change, which she co-edited. Elver is also recently working on UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda), focusing on food systems, food security and nutrition, climate change, and human rights.

Anne Elise Lewallen
East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies 

Ann-Elise Lewallen’s research and teaching engages with critical indigenous studies, gender studies, multiculturalism, and environmental justice in the context of contemporary Japan and in Japan’s transnational relations. As a cultural anthropologist, she is also concerned with research ethics and issues of knowledge construction in relation to indigenous and research host communities. Her current book project examines models of sustainable development and environmental justice within transnational citizen relations between Japan and India.

John Foran

Professor John Foran current areas of interest include the comparative study of 20th-century revolutions and 21st-century radical social change, development, climate, globalization, and the global justice, climate justice movements, “building better worlds,” or sustainable development. Foran was UCSB Sustainability Champion in 2013-14 and is engaged in a long-term research project on the global climate justice movement with the International Institute of Climate Action & Theory (IICAT) and the Climate Justice Project.

Erika Rappaport

Erika Rappaport’s research considers the history of mass consumer society, with a particular focus on how large-scale businesses accrue cultural and political power. While her work initially focused on mass-retailing and the urban environment, her current project, A Global Thirst: Selling Tea in the Age of Empire, examines the relationship between the global mass consumption and production of tea on agricultural labor, societies and environments in India, South and Southeast Asia and Africa. Her book examines tea’s global history from three interconnected perspectives and she argues that tea was one of the first agricultural industries to use imperial power and resources to engage in and pay for consumer and trade advertising and political lobbying in many locations over a long period of time. The model that tea developed is still used today and is critical to understanding the role of politics and publicity in shaping the geographies, power dynamics and problems in the modern global economy.

Mia Charlene White
Black Studies

Professor White’s research involves researching the intersection of “the city” as a domain and as a generative site for justice in social, economic, ecological, and environmental realms. She is interested in “alternative”, sustainable and economic development schemes, such as community land trusts, Co-ops and other “Non-traditional” methodologies for dealing with historical problems of “otherness” colliding with issues in urban and market restructuring.