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GCSC Seminar: Johnnye Lewis “Global Legacy of Environmental Injustice to Indigenous Peoples in the Wake of Weapons Development, Industry, & Technology”

October 17, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT

FASB 295 and online.

To attend via Zoom, register at


Globally and within the US, the weapons build up of World War II and the Cold War resulted in environmental injustices for Indigenous peoples that increased multigenerational risks to their health, environments, and cultures, creating a legacy of contamination and distrust against which the stresses of today’s political and climatic changes are being played out.  Indigenous art and story telling document the consistency with which governments and multinational corporations have approached the rights of Indigenous peoples throughout the globe in the face of weapons development and resource extraction.     The challenges posed by climate change are already highlighting conflicts among populations fighting for the same resources globally, and areas where the risks faced by Indigenous communities are exacerbated by the legacy of environmental injustices.    Threats to return to the injustices of the past are playing out against opportunities to learn from each other through collaborative strategies, all in play against a rapidly changing political structure globally.  This talk will focus on research in the Western US as a model for parallel risks faced globally, highlighting opportunities to follow a different path.


Dr. Johnnye Lewis is a toxicologist and the founder and, from 1996 until her retirement in 2022, the Director of the Community Environmental Health Program (CEHP) at the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center College of Pharmacy.  She now co-directs CEHP with Dr. Debra MacKenzie.   She holds an MA in Psychology (University of Victoria), Ph.D. in Pharmacology (University of Manitoba), and did her postdoctoral work in inhalation toxicology at the DOE Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute.  After running her own environmental health consulting business, she went to the University of New Mexico in 1996 and began building community/research partnerships, primarily with Indigenous communities, to address environmental injustice concerns through team science that integrates population and field  studies with mechanistic laboratory studies to link exposures to outcomes, confirm mechanisms, and develop environmental and health interventions to reduce risk.  Her most recent work has focused on community-driven studies of multi-generational impacts of exposures to abandoned mine wastes resulting from Cold War Weapons development, examining the mobility and toxicity of these mixtures within the context of current land use practices.  As a Professor Emerita, she now remains Director of the UNM METALS Superfund Center (NIEHS), and MPI of the Navajo Birth Cohort/ECHO study (NIH-OD) and of the Center for Native American Environmental Health Research Equity (NIMHD).



October 17, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT
Event Category:


295 FASB (Sutton Geology Bldg.)
115 S 1460 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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