About the Initiative

The Environmental and Epistemic Justice Initiative at Wake Forest University is a Mellon Foundation funded research and pedagogical project that brings together students, scholars, activists, journalists, and public officials in a multi-pronged effort to imagine, design, and develop a humanistic Science and Technology Studies curriculum that places at its center environmental and epistemic justice in critically examine how and in what ways race and regimes of racial knowledge shape and inform our scholarly practices, public policies, and normative concerns.

“The ultimate goal of this initiative is to cultivate a new generation of students and scholars who understand that a complex knowledge of race and processes of racialization are critical to comprehending and responding to our current environmental crisis.”

Robert D. Bullard

“All people are entitled to equal environmental protection regardless of race, color, or national origin. Environmental justice is the right to live and work and play in a clean environment.”

Robert D. Bullard

Environmental Justice Pioneer and Distinguished Professor at Texas Southern University

About the African American Studies Program


Learn more about our signature environmental justice summer institute

African American Program Academic Information


Learn more about our diverse environmental and epistemic justice programs

African American Studies Program Faculty


Learn more about the diverse group of Wake Forest University environmental justice scholars

2024 Mellon Environmental Summit

Register Here

2023 Environmental and Epistemic Justice Summer Institute


Inside Gary’s battle over a planned pollutant waste plant

March 12, 2024

“A school and a controversial waste facility project stand on opposite sides of a narrow road. The city of Gary, community members, and students rallied against it. What will happen next?”

Long-term impact of fertilizer plant fire raises concerns in Winston-Salem

March 1, 2024

“Two years after a near-catastrophic event, residents of the Piney Grove community have more questions than answers.”

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

January 24, 2024

“People don’t know what we’d do without oil and gas. It comes at a big price.”

LNG production comes with a price, Gulf Coast communities warn

January 24, 2024

US takes the global lead on liquid natural gas production and export, as economic promises and environmental worries collide.

$5M gift from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation advances environment and sustainability efforts

Wake Forest’s Center for the Environment, Energy and Sustainability (CEES) will become the Andrew Sabin Family Center for Environment and Sustainability. The $5 million gift will support research, education and outreach through collaboration within the University and with partners around the globe.

Fertilizer Plant Fires Serves as Catalyst for Wake Forest Institute

July 21, 2023

On June 27, 2023, BREDL Community Organizer Jason Torian, and Piney Grove League for Change member, Sabrina Webster attended day two of The WFU Environmental and Epistemic Justice Institute.

Summer Institute to focus on environmental justice reporting

June 12, 2023

Wake Forest University will host its first Summer Institute dedicated to advancing environmental justice reporting in the southeast from June 26-30.

Mellon Foundation awards WFU $1M for environmental justice project

by Kim McGrath
January 11, 2023

The Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Wake Forest University to create a model program for engaging scholars and the local community in advancing environmental justice.

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