Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 21 July 2014 – Today marks the start of groundWork’s two week long Environmental Justice School, focusing on building activism through theory and praxis for those living in communities experiencing environmental injustices. Last night, 18 students from across Southern Africa were welcomed by groundWork and from today they will be engaged on issues of development and power, environmental legislation in South Africa and campaigning in areas of energy, air, water, land and food. With mentorship from groundWork staff, by the end of the school, students are to have mapped out a course of action to use their newly acquired knowledge to become more active in their communities.

The school’s logo was designed in remembrance of famous environmental justice activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was murdered by the Nigerian state for his campaigning around Shell’s catastrophic oil operations in the Niger Delta. We remember his and other justice activists’ work as we go forward in building a new movement of activists who will continue their work in resisting corporate power and fighting for people’s development.

groundWork is proud to have members from the following organisations and movements participating in the Environmental Justice School:

Africa Groups of Sweden
Highveld Environmental Justice Network
Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance
South African Waste Pickers’ Association
Southern Cape Land Committee
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Surplus People’s Project
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development

Download the full programme here.

The closing session of the school will feature a speech by Desmond D’Sa, recent Goldman Environmental Prize 2014 winner and Coordinator at the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance.