The Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona has announced its spring 2017 awards, which include three fellowships and three seed grants.
Agnese Nelms Haury was a dedicated philanthropist with a passion for investing in innovative scholarship. She died in March 2014 in Tucson at the age of 90. During her life, she supported a wide range of people, organizations and causes in the environment, social justice and the Southwest.
Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, a well-known climate communicator, is the newest Visiting Fellow. Jetñil-Kijiner is recognized most notably for her performance of her poem "Dear Matafele Peinem," which she wrote to her young daughter. Jetñil-Kijiner will work with City High School students in the "Climate Change and Poetry" class that the school will pilot in collaboration with Eric Magrane of the UA's Arts, Environment and Humanities Network.
Jill Williams and Ben McMahan have been selected as Faculty Fellows. Williams, director of the UA Women in Science and Engineering Program, will collaborate with Sara Tolbert of the UA College of Education to study the relationship between environmental education and the ideals of motivation and self-efficacy among groups that are underrepresented in the sciences. McMahan's research centers on the environment and public health, focusing on climate risks that threaten the Southwest and how to develop community-centered solutions to mitigate those risks. Haury program funding will help him develop a citizen science pollution-monitoring network.
The Haury program awards two to four Seed Charitable Grants each year to projects that create teams of University and community members to seek solutions to social justice and environmental problems. These projects must demonstrate sustainability and foster authentic relationships between the UA and the community. The three projects selected for 2017 are:
- "Farmacy" Project: The Tucson Village Farm, or TVF, introduces youth to healthy food options, teaches them to grow and prepare their own food, and encourages healthful lifestyle choices. TVF is a partnership between the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Pima County Cooperative Extension. In this initiative, TVF partners with the UA's College of Medicine and El Rio Clinics. The project will refer at-risk families from El Rio Clinics to TVF, where they will receive nutrition education and fresh-food options. College of Medicine students will gain experience in connecting clients' health to nutrition. This program is designed to reduce the risk of nutrition-related disease in children and adults in underserved communities.
- Sustainable South Tucson: Haury program funding will help launch the Women's Impact Fund, a collaboration between the YWCA and the UA James E. Rogers School of Law. The fund creates a microlending program, which focuses on minority and women entrepreneurs who invest in sustainable projects. Project goals include building a foundation for long-term development in South Tucson, as well as creating strategies that are environmentally sustainable for the South Tucson community. The Women's Impact Fund is a reflection of the Haury program's mission to support and empower marginalized groups in a community.
- Heat Resilience in Border Cities: Extreme-heat episodes create dangerous public health risks. The threat exists for all members of communities, but marginalized residents and expectant mothers are some of the most vulnerable, especially in border locations such as San Elizario, Texas, in the El Paso area. This project, a partnership involving AYUDA, Paso del Norte de Promotoras, and the UA and other academic institutions, focuses on building resilience to extreme heat in San Elizario. UA professor Gregg Garfin leads the team, whose goals include creating a heat health-risk training program, providing low-cost interventions and building a model for use in other communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.