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Smithsonian Environmental Justice Fellowship: Envisioning a shared and sustainable future

Climate change, pollution, loss of land rights, and other environmental challenges disproportionately affect people who are currently and who have been historically underserved and marginalized, especially communities of color. Addressing these challenges is complex and requires diverse perspectives from a multitude of stakeholders, especially those closest and most impacted by the challenges.

As the largest museum, education, and research complex -- with 23 museums, numerous research centers, and the National Zoological Park -- the Smithsonian Institution strives to play a leading role in addressing environmental justice. Leveraging the Institution’s vast resources and expertise, the Smithsonian will award two 2-year Environmental Justice Fellowships starting in Fall 2022, and will explore one of the following questions:

  1. How do artists influence and/or serve as catalysts of change for environmental justice?
  2. How do we identify, remove and reverse barriers faced by minority farmers and landowners and increase participation to improve biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resiliency across working agricultural lands?

Fellows exploring question number one will be hosted by Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) and must identify an advisor within ACM, as well as a second advisor from a Smithsonian science museum or research center (e.g. National Museum of Natural History, National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, etc.)

Fellows exploring question number two will be hosted by the National Zoo Conservation Biology Institute’s (NZCBI) Virginia Working Landscapes program and will be required to identify an advisor from NZCBI. A second advisor from NZCBI or another Smithsonian museum or research center is encouraged.

Anacostia Community Museum (ACM): Established in 1967 to serve as a reflection of its community’s history and daily realities, the Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) was built in partnership with a neighborhood which had long felt excluded from the national narrative. This idea of shared authority between the community and the museum was at the core of the museum’s founding and continues to guide its work today through its mission and vision of urban communities activating their collective power for a more equitable future.

Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL): a program of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute that brings together researchers, landowners, citizen scientists and regional partners to promote the conservation of native biodiversity and sustainable land management through scientific research, education, and community engagement.

**Please note, the proposed research topic must be focused in an area of science or culture supported by the Smithsonian that is also appropriate to Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum and/or the National Zoo Conservation Biology Institute’s Virginia Working Landscape program.

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