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Laurel Announces Launch of Environmental Justice Semester

Semester to kick-off in Fall 2023; will focus on climate change policy, environmental education, ecological restoration and more.
SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH – (October 26, 2022) Laurel School is excited to share the launch of a unique Environmental Justice (EJ) semester for Tenth and Eleventh Grade girls from Laurel and other schools across the Greater Cleveland area that will take place at Laurel’s Butler Campus beginning in Fall 2023. The EJ semester will bring student changemakers together with local leaders in the environmental justice space to educate and inspire change.

“Environmental Justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies,” said Ann V. Klotz, Head of School. “EJ is a field in which women can make a meaningful impact while developing leadership and critical-thinking skills and deepening collaborative and independent learning. We feel Laurel and our Butler Campus will provide a compelling academic EJ experience that aligns perfectly with our mission to inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world.”

This immersive, 15-week long academic program will accept applications from Laurel students and girls from across the Greater Cleveland area who are interested in Environmental Justice.
During each EJ semester, students in the program will work with a solution-focused organization in Greater Cleveland on a particular project. Representative projects could include work with organizations focused on:
  • Climate change policy research
  • Tackling food deserts
  • Environmental education
  • Community organizing
  • Lead poisoning policy and education
  • Ecological restoration (tree planting, urban gardens, invasive removal)
At the end of this highly-engaging academic semester, students will return to their home schools inspired and hopeful about solutions for protecting people and the planet in a complicated world.  

“Laurel has long been a supporter of environmental stewardship and our 150-acre Butler Campus is the perfect setting to immerse students in this space,” said Angela Yeager, Director of the Environmental Justice Semester. “Butler offers a natural space with terrestrial, aquatic, and agricultural ecosystems ripe for students to devise solutions for the ecological and social challenges facing urban Cleveland, a rustbelt city grappling with many environmental and social justice issues.”

“We know that climate change is one of the biggest issues young people are grappling with today,” continued Ms. Klotz. “Our goal is for Laurel to provide the space, resources, time and support to allow students the opportunity to make a difference. The opportunity to be a changemaker.”

Applications are now open for current Ninth or Tenth Grade students with a passion for the environment. Visit LaurelSchool.org/EnvironmentalJustice for more information about the program. 

Laurel will also host two informational sessions for parents/guardians and students. Sessions are open to all. Visit https://bit.ly/EJinfosession to RSVP for one or both EJ Info Session(s).
  • December 10 at 10:00 a.m. at the Butler Campus
  • December 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lyman Campus
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