Celebrate Earth Week with The New School

Earth Day 2021 is just around the corner, and this week — Earth Week 2021 — The New School has an exciting lineup of virtual events focused on the changing climate, environmental justice, and more. In addition to these events, we’ve also gathered resources from our community to help kick off the week.

We hope you use the information below as a starting point to understanding and bettering the world around us, not just during Earth Week, but throughout the year.


The New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center shared a list of books to read this Earth Week (and throughout the year!). “We want to share some works to help understand the world we are living in and a more just world that we want to see,” TEDC says. Click here for their full list.

The Tishman Center serves as a nexus between academia and the environmental and social justice grassroots movements, with a specific focus on underserved communities. To learn more about their research, click here.

Members of The New School’s Urban Systems Lab recently published a new book called Resilient Urban Futures. The volume includes several chapters co-authored by New School faculty Daniel Sauter, Associate Professor of Data Visualization, Timon McPhearson, Associate Professor of Urban Ecology & Director of the Urban Systems Lab, as well as USL Postdoctoral Fellows Luis Ortiz, Ahmed Mustafa, and Claudia Tomateo. The book is available as a free download this week. Click here to learn more.

Urban Systems Lab’s work can be placed within eight converging fields: Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, Community Engagement, Data Visualization & Design, Urban Ecology, Environmental Justice & Equity, Nature-Based Solutions, Urban Policy & Planning, and Urban Climate Resilience. To learn more about their work, click here.

David Bond, PhD Anthropology ’13, now Associate Director at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College, has been conducting important research surrounding the U.S. military’s involvement in introducing toxic chemicals to communities across the nation. Read his latest report, “The US military is poisoning communities across the US with toxic chemicals,” recently published in The Guardian.

The Parsons Healthy Materials Lab podcast Trace Material explores the convergence of our lives and the lives of the materials that surround us. Their first season focused on the “miracle plant” that is Hemp, while their upcoming second season will focus on plastic (listen to the Season Two trailer here). To learn more about or subscribe to Trace Material, click here.

Last year, we rounded up recommendations from students, faculty, and staff across the university for books focused on the environment and sustainability. These books are still relevant today. Click here for our list of Earth Week reading recommendations.


Curriculum of the Anthropocene

Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 4–5:00PM (EST)
Is higher education preparing students for the world that we are living in and the one that is to come? Join the Tishman Environment and Design Center for a discussion between educators about knowledge, curriculum, pedagogy and who gets to shape those concepts.

The Human Impact of Climate Change: Mental Health, Mobility and Our Changing Planet

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 6–7:30PM (EST)
The term “climate refugee” emerged to describe the entirety of issues connected to climate-related migration. The United Nations and other international organizations, however, have not agreed upon an official definition of the term. As a result, climate refugees do not fit into any legal definitions of a refugee and are not entitled to the same resources and protections granted to refugees by international and local law. Join representatives from New School for Social Research, Vasser College, Bennington College, and Rutgers for this special conversation.

Earth Week 2021 Keynote with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Dr. Mia Charlene White

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 3-4:00 PM (EST)
Join the Tishman Environment and Design Center for their Earth Week keynote conversation between Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (Founder of Urban Ocean Lab & Co-Founder of the All We Can Save Project) and Dr. Mia White (Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the Environmental Studies Program at the Schools of Public Engagement at The New School). Both are working on creative ways to build community and solidarity in the climate space and this will surely be a thought provoking conversation on how we can continue fighting for a transition towards a world that values climate and environmental justice.

Nourishing Communities of Life: Indigenous Resurgence beyond Syndemic Violence & Earth Crisis

Thursday, April 22, 2021, 6–8:00PM (EST)
Join New School faculty, partners, and Amazon Watch for a panel gathering voices from diverse key projects from across Abya Yala and Turtle Island (‘the Americas’) that embody real solutions based on decolonizing communal alternatives. Indigenous communality and reciprocity forms the basis of projects to reconstitute territories of life. Such projects are real, decolonizing solutions to intersecting “syndemic” crises of health, environment/climate, food and systemic violence (including state and corporate violence). These projects (re)constitute “territories of life” rooted in land-based communal self-determination and based on the revitalization of Indigenous knowledge for Indigenous governance.

The World We Need Book Launch

Thursday, April 22, 2021, 5-6:15 PM
Join the Tishman Environment and Design Center in celebrating the launch of The World We Need: Stories and Lessons from America’s Unsung Environmental Movement (The New Press, May 4, 2021), a new book with an introduction by New School Faculty Ana Baptista. The book captures the riveting stories and hard-won strategies from a broad cross section of pivotal environmental actions and highlights the struggles against polluting corporations and industry while featuring movements, activists, and organizations that are already working toward a positive vision of a just, regenerative society.

At The New School, our buildings department has numerous sustainable initiatives that addressing climate change in a variety of ways. To learn more about these initiatives, click here.

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