In 2015, we launched the first phase of a Community Listening Campaign (CLC) to better understand what community members see as their needs, priorities and expectations related to environmental and social justice. The project began with online research and community networking to identify regional programs working in areas of interest to the Agnese Nelms. Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice. It continues with focus groups, community dialogue meetings and surveys.
Identifying Local Constituents
In preparing for the true "listening" phase of this project, we first identified which organizations work on social and environmental justice issues including those within the University of Arizona (UA) and in the wider regional community. We narrowed the field using the Oxfam "doughnut" model of sustainability, developed by Kate Raworth, as a guide. The visual for the model comprises:
- An inner "social foundation" threshold enclosing the acceptable levels for elements of human need and experience;
- An outer "environmental ceiling," limited by environmental boundaries;
- The area between these two rings, defined as “the safe and just space for humanity” is one that allows for sustainable communities and a fair distribution of resources and rights.
What We've Learned So Far
During the first phase of the CLC, our analysis identified 252 regional programs — community organizations as well as UA and government programs — working in our core areas of interest:
Top Populations Served
Youth and indigenous populations, primarily in the Tucson area
Top Areas of Environmental Work
- Freshwater Use
- Land-Use Change
- Climate Change
- Loss of Biodiversity
- Chemical Pollution
Number of populations served in each of these five areas of environmental work:
Top Areas of Social Justice Work
Number of populations served in each of these six areas of social justice work:
The second phase of the CLC included:
- Conducting a more detailed survey, distributed online to the 252 organizations to refine our understanding of their work;
- Publishing a searchable directory with information about organizations working at the intersection of environment and social justice;
- Working with focus groups to further explore areas of need.
"Southwest Sustainability Doughnut”
The Haury Program is now refining its areas of interest based on continued listening and discussions in community dialogues, evolving its own "Southwest Sustainability" version of the Oxfam "doughnut" described above.
If you'd like to learn more about our Listening Campaign as it progresses, please join our email list for occasional updates and announcements.