Environmental Justice Minor

Written by on April 17, 2024

By Merissa Bailey Rios / Staff Writer 

Kansas Wesleyan University is taking a big step towards environmental awareness and action this fall with the launch of their new Environmental Justice Minor. Open to all majors, this minor goes beyond classroom learning to equip students with the skills they need to make a real difference.

The Community Resilience Hub (CRH) is the starting point for this environmental change, which envisions a future with equitable, prosperous, and collaborative communities. Their core values- education, action, and advocacy- are woven into the fabric of the Environmental Justice Minor. They have been actively surveying all departments around campus to pinpoint areas where KWU can become a greener and more sustainable community.    


The Environmental Justice Minor goes beyond textbook knowledge. It empowers students to become active participants in environmental stewardship. A unique feature in the hands-on learning component, which includes a local Farming training program. Here, students gain practical experience in cultivating their own food, fostering a deeper connection to the land and the importance of sustainable agricultural practices. The program also has plans for a trip to Puerto Rico in 2025, offering students the opportunity to broaden their environmental understanding through immersive experiences in a different ecosystem.

“These hands-on experiences are crucial,” says Kelly Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Social Work. “They allow students to bridge the gap between the classroom and practice, empowering them to take hold of their future.”


The “action” aspect of the program focuses on improving KWU’s own sustainability practices. The data collected through the CRH’s campus surveys will be instrumental in identifying areas for improvement. This could involve anything from implementing more energy-efficient practices in campus building to exploring renewable energy sources for the university.


The minor’s “advocacy” component empowers students to push for positive change beyond the campus wall. KWU is working with students and local farmers to expand access to fresh, locally grown produce, and collaborate on developing a comprehensive climate actin plan for the university.


The Environmental Justice Minor is a produce of collaboration between CRH and the Social Work department.

“This program gives student the confidence to take control of their food choices and empowers them to make a difference in their local food systems,” says Sabrina do Rosario, Director of the Community Resilience Hub.

Many of the required courses for the minor are Liberal studies classes that students may have already taken or will be taking to fulfill their general education requirements. This overlap makes the minor accessible and allows students to leverage their existing knowledge base. There will be a meeting for any student that would like to learn more about what the minor is, and any courses that are required for the minor Tuesday, April 16 in the Pioneer Hall 325.

For more information visit Environmental Justice – Kansas Wesleyan University (kwu.edu)

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