The Contemporary Issues Faculty Lectures are a series of presentations where Salem State faculty share insights on current issues from different areas of specialization around a core concern with social justice.

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  • Addressing Climate Change On Salem State’s Campus And Why It Matters

    Gallagher, Tara (2022-04-19)
    Tara Gallagher has been Salem State’s Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator since 2017. This is not her first role at Salem State as she served as Adjunct Faculty in the Geography and Sustainability Department from 2004 – 2010. She has also supported sustainability program development and reporting as a consultant with Pure Strategies. Earlier in her career, Tara worked in the Drinking Water Division of the MA Department of Environmental Protection. In her current role, Tara focuses on reducing Salem State’s environmental footprint by increasing renewable energy use and energy efficiency on campus. She also promotes a suite of green transportation options and sustainability behaviors to the campus community. She manages the Sustainability Council internship program and co-chairs the Earth Days Planning and University Safety Committees. She has a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University.
  • Climate Change: What Do We Need To Do? What Are We Doing?

    Hayes, John (2022-03-22)
    The Spring 2022 Contemporary Issues Webinar Series tackles the urgent issue of climate change, asking "What do we need to do? What are we doing?" Professor John Hayes of the SSU Geography and Sustainability Department kicks off the series with a discussion of climate action and climate resiliency planning by city, county, and regional governments to confront and mitigate climate change.
  • Pandemics, Climate Change, and Social and Racial Justice

    Chomsky, Avi (2021-04-27)
    In the current political climate, debates about COVID-19 and about climate change have pitted denialists against those who accept the realities of science and its ability to study, explain, and solve these problems. But while science can provide information about the physical realities of pandemics and climate change, it doesn’t address the political, social, and economic causes of these crises. Chomsky argues that science is not enough; we need to explore how the very same social and economic structures that entrench inequality are also at the root of both emerging pandemics like COVID-19 and of the climate crisis we are facing. This presentation was part of the Contemporary Issues Faculty Lecture Series and was co-sponsored by the Earth Day Planning Committee.
  • The Geography of Environmental (In)Justice in New England

    Luna, Marcos (2021-04-15)
    Environmental burdens, like noxious industry and pollution, and environmental amenities, like open space and affordable transportation, are not distributed either randomly or equitably across New England. Despite demographic and economic differences, every state in the region exhibits a common pattern of environmental inequities that puts the most vulnerable communities at greatest risk while shielding the most privileged. Luna summarizes recent research on the geography of environmental inequities across New England and how these inequities relate to both the history and contemporary reality of race and class-based inequities and discrimination. This presentation was part of the Contemporary Issues Faculty Lecture Series and was co-sponsored by the Earth Day Planning Committee.
  • The Problem with Community and Diversity in White Spaces

    Barba, Miguel Montalva (2021-04-06)
    Barba discusses how “community” and “diversity” become activated in white spaces, highlighting findings from interviews with white residents of a borough in Boston that show how racism becomes activated to create and maintain difference, even in progressive spaces. Join Barba in exploring the work needed to advance racial equity through questioning the stories white residents tell themselves to rationalize systemic racial inequality This presentation was part of the Contemporary Issues Faculty Lecture Series.