The Environmental Justice Advocates’ mission is to advocate for and support, through direct action and the law, communities’ efforts toward environmental justice.
EJA is a Lewis & Clark Law School student group that supports and advocates for communities’ efforts toward environmental justice through direct action and the law. EJA partners with and assists local individuals and entities whose communities are disproportionately impacted by (or in danger of being impacted by) environmental degradation. The group works to educate the Lewis & Clark community about local, national, and international environmental justice issues through a major conference, speakers, community tours, and projects in order to provide better service to community partners and prepare interested students to pursue environmental justice in their chosen careers.
EJA is and always has been student-driven. The group was established by a few students in 2000. Since then, EJA has been actively involved in air quality testing and community building in Northeast Portland, provided legal assistance to neighborhood organizations facing freeway expansion along the I-5 corridor, and supported union efforts to prevent farm worker exposure to toxic fumes. In addition, the group worked with law faculty, especially the environmental and natural resource law faculty, to integrate environmental justice tenets into Lewis & Clark’s existing curriculum. They have successfully lobbied for adjunct professors to teach an environmental justice survey course and a seminar class to be taught once a year. In 2006 and 2007, the group organized two Environmental Justice Conferences, which drew a long list of local and statewide activists, government workers, and community organizers as well as students.