Deborah Cheng, curator of “Just Environments,” concludes the series with a look back at the diverse set of essays that connect environmental justice to social-structural, political, and cultural inequalities. Cheng reviews the ways in which contributors to the series addressed the nature of environmental (in)justices, touching on a wide range of subjects across various regions. The authors also analyzed how individuals, communities, and social movements strategized and acted to redress injustice, and the ways knowledge and research can be part of both deepening and reversing inequalities at the intersection of environmental change and political and economic forces.
Deborah Cheng joined the SSRC in December 2014 as program officer of the Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, where her research focused on the politics of urban water access in Manila. Her work was funded in part by the SSRC's International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) and has been published in Geoforum, Water Alternatives, and Environment and Urbanization. Prior to joining the Council, Cheng was a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, where she examined the fragmentation of water governance in LA County. She grew up in Manila and has degrees in environmental engineering from MIT and Stanford.