UC Davis Environmental Justice & Equity Leadership Fellowship

Program Description

Application Link

To advance cutting edge research that can achieve the promise of good policy, the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and Energy (ITS) and the Energy and Efficiency Institute (EEI) in collaboration with the members of the Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Group (TEEJAG) is designing an Environmental Justice & Equity Fellowship program.

This fellowship program will benefit participating fellows, the communities they serve, and the university researchers they engage with.
We are seeking input from individuals who would want to participate as fellows, as well as feedback and guidance on how to best design this program to meet your specific interest, goals, and availability. For the initial two years, we seek a cohort of senior leaders from organizations with an interest in EJ (environmental non-government organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and EJ advocacy groups). The first cohort is planned for begin during the Fall Quarter of the 2021-2022 academic year.

Motivation

This fellowship program aims to address two challenges: 1) communities have untapped knowledge that is not disseminated widely, or is ignored by government and other entities, due to physical distance, language barriers, cost, and lack of access to information; and 2) the research community has untapped knowledge and expertise but has historically shared an asymmetrical power balance with EJ advocacy groups and community organizations. The result, all too often, has led to limited sharing of information between researchers and EJ communities, poor public engagement, and missed opportunities.
To address these challenges, UC Davis ITS and EEI are co-creating a platform for professionals focused on bringing evidence-based equitable transportation, buildings, and energy solutions to EJ communities. This platform will also serve to connect university-based research programs and personnel with community expertise and knowledge.

Topics of Interest

This program is being developed with a particular focus on these key research areas:

  • Electric Vehicles: incentives and charging infrastructure
  • Indoor air quality upgrades
  • Energy efficiency and buildings electrification
  • Transit service: availability and cost
  • Safe Streets and Active Transportation
  • Shared Mobility increased mobility options
  • Transit Oriented Developments
  • Decarbonization efforts such as Low Carbon Fuels

Program Design

The program will be co-created by the fellows and their sponsoring organizations. As such, the duration of the program is intended to be flexible to each of fellows’ availability. Some fellows would join and start at the same time as part of a cohort, and others on a rolling, individual basis. The program will last anywhere from six (6) weeks to nine (9) months, and may include an in-person component, all remote, or a hybrid of the two. Fellows will be given some options on how to customize the program to their interests, time-commitment, and will be expected to participate in a number of the following activities:

Professional Development

  • Participation in a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly curriculum, which will leverage:
    • attending existing seminars series and classes
    • curated briefings with California legislators and their staff, legislators from elsewhere including Washington DC, executive agencies, and other regulatory agencies that work in the EJ space.
  • Leadership by the Fellows
    • Integrate community participation into the research process
    • Provide guest lectures and/or co-teaching curriculum on equity-focused topics in ongoing classes and/or as part of seminar series
    • Co-organization and facilitate workshops on a specific topic of importance to the EJ community.
  • Capstone Project
    • White paper, presentation, and/or grant proposal that will advance equity and/or EJ in the areas of transportation, energy research, access, demand, and others.
  • Professional Network
    • Continued engagement with fellows through social and networking events.

We have a goal of inviting a cohort of Fellows every year. Our team will continue fundraising to provide stipends for fellows and the organizations they work with, as well as cover the cost of university staff time. The following UC Davis research units are providing seed funding to make this program possible: the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Energy and Efficiency Institute, the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy, and the Center for Regional Change. Additionally, we have tapped into our network of environmental and research organization as though-partners in this effort and continue to actively seek long-term sustainable funding to support this Fellowship program

Eligibility

This funded fellowship program is designed to attract analysts, managers, and lobbyists employed by NGOs, EJ groups, and CBOs, advocating for communities of concern. Individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and those with intersecting identities (queer, trans, immigrant, and disabled), will be strongly encouraged to apply.

Prospective Fellows

If you are interested in being considered for this Fellowship, please complete the following application by Monday, August 23, 2021. To access and submit an application please CLICK HERE.

Our selection committee will receive and review your responses. Our team will identify a select number of prospective Fellows that will advance to the second round of this selection process. During the second round of this process, prospective Fellows will be asked to complete a more detailed application and a (written) Statement of Interest. Finalists from the second round will be invited to a final interview with our selection committee.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you.
For questions, please contact jcgarciasanchez@ucdavis.edu or tarnal@ucdavis.edu.

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