BUSSW’s Emerging Scholars Program connects BU community members with early-career scholars leading innovative research in climate and environmental justice.
An initiative of the BUSSW Equity & Inclusion Committee, the program prioritizes work by individuals from backgrounds that are underrepresented in academia and includes MSW class visits, networking opportunities and a spring colloquium open to the public.
EMERGING SCHOLARS COLLOQUIUM
Social Work, Climate & Environmental Justice
March 23, 2023
11:30am – 1:30pm ET
Hybrid (In-Person & Virtual)
Climate change is the defining crisis of our time. While social work scholars and practitioners have long committed to improving conditions for the oppressed populations and communities most affected, there is a critical need for more research about the human dimension of the climate crisis. In order to address the negative consequences of environmental injustice and ecocide, social work needs to develop effective policy, mitigation, and adaptation efforts through a multifaceted response based in interlocking principles of equity, sustainability, mitigation, resilience, and justice.
In support of this work, the Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) Equity & Inclusion Committee established the Emerging Scholars Program which invites three early career scholars from underrepresented backgrounds in the academy to share their knowledge about climate and environmental justice with the BU community.
Join our emerging scholars Darien Alexander Williams, OreOluwa Badaki, and Shanondora Billiot and moderator Daniel Jacobson López at the BUSSW Emerging Scholars Colloquium on March 23rd – in-person at the GSU Terrace Lounge or virtually via Zoom.
We strive to be accessible, inclusive and diverse in our facilities, programming and academic offerings. Your experience in this event is important to us. If you have a disability (including but not limited to learning or attention, mental health, concussion, vision, mobility, hearing, physical or other health related), require communication access services for the deaf or hard of hearing, or believe that you require a reasonable accommodation for another reason, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least three weeks prior to the event to discuss your needs.
1 CE credit will be available to social workers licensed in Massachusetts upon completion of a brief post-event quiz. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
In Person (BU Terrace Lounge):
The BU Terrace Lounge is located on the 2nd floor of the George Sherman Union (GSU 239) at 775 Commonwealth Ave.
View the location on BU Maps or get directions on Google Maps.
If you are attending online, you will receive Zoom information via email prior to the event.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Meet Our Scholars
Darien Alexander Williams, MCRP, PhD Candidate
- Pronouns: He/him/his
- Areas of research: Disaster, urban planning, Black Studies
- Twitter: @nigreaux
Darien Alexander Williams is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Studies & Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Planning, where he focuses on Black and Muslim urban planning history, disaster recovery, and community organizing. His dissertation project examines methods of counter-institution building developed by Black Muslims grappling with segregation and land clearance as they shaped neighborhoods across the 20th century, with particular attention given to Roxbury, Massachusetts. By drawing on diverse sources such as archival documents, organization financial records, the Black press, interview data, and present-day fieldwork, his project maps the claims to land made by Black religious and Nationalist groups who challenged common assumptions about citizenship, identity, and planning power.
Alongside this work, Williams serves as Co-PI on a Florida Sea Grant-supported participatory action research team interrogating health, climate change, and spatial justice in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. He also works alongside researchers and community organizers at the intersection of climate disaster, urban planning, and incarceration along the Gulf Coast. Both projects draw on and contribute to an abolitionist framework of emergency management.
Williams has previously worked in Eastern North Carolina on long-term planning in historically Black towns in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. He is currently an organizer for the Queer Muslims of Boston, a grassroots organization that builds social and spiritual space for LGBTQ Muslims across New England.
OreOluwa Badaki, PhD, MSEd, MA
- Pronouns: She/her/hers
- Areas of research: Critical literacies, environmental justice education, arts education
- Twitter: @OreOluwaBadaki
OreOluwa Badaki, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research and writing focuses on the pedagogical and methodological possibilities of creative, critical, and collaborative literacy practices within environmental justice education.
Badaki earned her PhD from the Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Her dissertation work, which focused on the literacy practices of youth of color working in urban agriculture, received the Ralph C. Preston Award for Scholarship and Teaching Contributing to Social Justice.
Shanondora Billiot, PhD, MSW
- Pronouns: She/her/hers
- Areas of research: Global Environmental Changes, Indigenous Health Disparities, EcoSocial Work, Adaptation Activities
- Webpage: ASU Profile
Shanondora Billiot, PhD (United Houma Nation) is an assistant professor at Arizona State University with a research affiliation at University of Houston. Her research uses mixed methods to explore indigenous-specific risk and protective factors to global environmental change exposure and pathways to health outcomes within Indigenous populations with the goal to co-develop adaptation activities.
Billiot is currently a co-PI on an interdisciplinary team exploring resilience, culture, climate and movement among an Indigenous community on the Gulf Coast funded by Gulf Research Program Thriving Communities Grant. She serves as a technical advisory member of the Climate Change Taskforce for the National Congress of American Indians as well as an advisory board member for the Social Responses to a Changing Environment Grand Challenge led by the Academy of Social Workers. In addition, she is a liaison member of the Community Board for Engagement and Evaluation of the Gulf Research Program within the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering.
Billiot earned a PhD in social work from Washington University in St. Louis as a Henry Roe Cloud visiting doctoral fellow at Yale University.
The BUSSW Emerging Scholars Program is funded by BU Diversity & Inclusion and co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health at BUSSW and BU School of Public Health’s Center for Climate and Health and Department of Environmental Health. The program is co-chaired by BUSSW faculty members Daniel Jacobson López, Dawn Belkin Martinez, and Ellen DeVoe.