Two HBCUs Join With Georgetown University to Combat Enviromental Injustice

Researchers at historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C., historically Black Morgan State University in Baltimore, and the Georgetown University School of Public Policy’s Massive Data Institute are partnering to develop the Environmental Impact Data Collaborative (EIDC), a data and computing infrastructure that will support community groups, policymakers, and scholars in their efforts to effectively create environmental policies.

The project is supported by a $3.2 million grant from the Bezos Earth Fund. The foundation has a $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, nongovernmental organizations, and private-sector entities that are taking critical action to combat the climate crisis, preserve and protect the natural world, and support climate justice.

The cross-institutional partnership will allow the EIDC to directly engage with communities most affected by environmental injustice and develop a diverse network of researchers and activists who can transform data into solutions that promote equity and combat climate change.

Scholars at Georgetown are working with 13 researchers at Howard University across five projects to analyze how environmental factors can have a disparate impact on disadvantaged communities, including projects focused on testing air quality in low-income households, connecting traffic pollution in marginalized populations, and identifying environmental patterns in health outcomes in Washington, D.C.

Partners at Morgan State University are building on their research capacity in computer science to automate the ingestion and cleaning of data from new sources. Their work will also expand Morgan State students’ opportunities to complete research and policy work at the intersection of computer science and environmental policy.

“Environmental justice needs collaboration from diverse groups,” said Paul Wang, professor and chair of computer science at Morgan State University. “The Georgetown, Howard, and Morgan State partnership promotes the equity of all people and will make a huge impact toward a better environment.”

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