Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Presented to the Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Environmental Studies 2008.


The purpose of this project is to increase awareness of the current environmental and social injustices occurring in the United States. Through music and grassroots storytelling, the histories and struggles of communities and individuals who are living directly under such unjust conditions will be shared with various constituencies of the public who has little or no knowledge of, or is not in direct relationship to, these conditions. This transference of information and exchange of ideas will occur through the following: the production of an audio recording of song-stories and first-person narratives from the participants, a folk music performance tour including information sessions, as well as a website to document the project and provide supplemental information and links.

By raising consciousness of these environmental justice issues within a larger portion of the population, the chance for social change through action is increased. The use of music as a tool for conveying ideas of protest and change, both transferring and transforming culture, can be seen in all of the major movements of American history; including the Civil Rights movement, the Anti-War movement, the Populist Farmer’s movement, the rise of the American Unions, the American Student movement, and the Feminist movement. This project aims to utilize the proven successes of social justice through grassroots organizing and musical activism towards our future social and environmental equality.



Date Posted: 07 December 2010