The main goal of REJOICE is to answer the question, What does environmental justice look like in Vermont? We need to understand the injustices in our state, so that we can craft an environmental justice (EJ) policy that meets the needs of Vermonters.
To answer this question, we will conduct door-to-door surveys, in-depth interviews, and community conversations across the state. We will ask people to reflect on a variety of environmental and health burdens, from energy bills to food access.
The data that we collect from surveys, panels, and interviews will help us identify where environmental injustice is occurring, especially in under-served communities.
Our short-term goal goal is a change in knowledge. We need to improve the communication between policy-makers and everyday people. State agencies need a better understanding of communities’ concerns, questions, and needs. And frontline communities need to be informed about the EJ policy making process.
Our medium-term goal is a change in behavior. We need to build strong relationships in order to implement meaningful EJ policy. This project will strengthen communication between the people and their government, ensuring that we have a more equitable policy-making process on future environmental issues.
Our long-term goal is a change in conditions. We need a collaborative EJ policy in Vermont. We hope this work will center equity and justice in the state’s policy-making. This shift will require the state to center frontline communities through public gatherings and inter-agency meetings, so that we can continue to emphasize environmental justice in Vermont.