Mobilising Multi-species Justice: Learning from Racial Justice Movements

Image by Sergi Ferrete, via Unsplash
Tuesday 14 June 2022
1.00 - 3.00pm (AEST)

Online (Zoom)

SEI’s Visiting Fellow Dr. Erin Fitz-Henry, looks to recent scholarship on Black Lives Matter and the environmental movement to unpack long-standing questions about the tensions and possibilities between social movements focused on dismantling racism and achieving ecological justice.

While recognising that there are many overlaps between racial and environmental movements, and that to some degree the distinction is an artificial one, this seminar will engage with scholars who have ethnographically and/or theoretically explored the tensions generated by the expansion of justice concerns to include other-than-humans at this time of massive social and racial inequality.

In this seminar, Dr. Erin Fitz-Henry will use these tensions as the points of departure to ask: What, if anything, can multi-species justice organising learn from contemporary racial justice mobilisations (and vice versa)? In what ways might well-intended efforts to support multi-species flourishing inadvertently perpetuate racial and/or colonial violence? What are some of the most promising forms of multi-racial, cross-class alliance-building – work that explicitly aims to address the overlapping challenges of institutionalised racism and environmental violence? And what are some of the institutional impediments to the strengthening of these alliances?

To anchor the discussion, she’ll focus on two movements with which she has recently been engaged with in the United States – movements for the rights of nature and movements for reparations for chattel slavery.


Erin Fitz-Henry is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and the Development Studies in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She works primarily on transnational social movements, with a particular interest in the global movement for the rights of nature in Ecuador, the United States and Australia. Her ethnographic work has focused on the use of these rights in contexts of large-scale resource extraction.

Please note, this is a closed workshop for PhD students. If you’d like to attend, please email sei.events@sydney.edu.au.