Confluence Lab, Partners Address Pacific NW Justice Issues
The University of Idaho Confluence Lab, University of Oregon and Whitman College were awarded a three-year $4.52 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch the Pacific Northwest Just Futures Institute (PNJFI) that will address racial and climate justice issues.
As part of PNJFI, the Confluence Lab will create a virtual “Stories of Fire: A Pacific Northwest Climate Justice Atlas” that illustrates people’s complex relationships with fire. In this context, an atlas comprises maps, stories, images and other representations of data that bring insight to a specific issue.
U of I faculty Erin James, Jennifer Ladino, Teresa Cohn and Stacy Isenbarger are partnering on the “Atlas of Fire” project. The atlas will focus on the connections between fire, social justice, environmental justice and traditionally underrepresented communities, drawing on the environmental humanities to tell stories about the changing region. The atlas is one part of a larger suite of projects associated with the PNJFI.
“Wildfires highlight some of the social crises we are facing,” Ladino said. “By focusing on people’s personal experiences with fire, we can better listen to a diversity of rural voices and address social justice issues like settler colonialism, environmental racism and socioeconomic inequities.”