Global Environmental (In)Justice: How Do We Respond?

November 11-15, 2019

Initiated in 2000 by the U.S. Departments of State and Education, International Education Week (IEW) emphasizes the importance of increasing knowledge and awareness of the world's cultures, peoples and languages, and affirms the critical role the international education plays at Boston College.

Celebrated from November 11 to 15, the theme for Boston College’s 2019 IEW is "Global Environmental (In)Justice: How Do We Respond?" Interdisciplinary in nature, this theme is designed to address how members of the BC community might address global environmental concerns, within the context of our university’s Jesuit commitment to social justice.

Discussions will revolve around the equitable distribution of environmental risks and benefits, particularly those affecting marginalized individuals and communities, while taking into account topics such as air and water pollution; transportation; access to healthy food; climate change and the environment; and sustainability, among others. Explorations will be local, national, and global, with a focus on how we might work collaboratively to respond to shared problems

IEW 2019 is a collaborative effort organized by a wide array of departments and offices at Boston College, under the direction of the Office of International Programs and the Office of International Students and Scholars.

IEW poster

Sustainability Student Leadership Symposium

Connors Retreat Center, Dover, MA, 9am-5pm

Symposium will feature a panel, round table discussions, presentations, and engaging conversations. Register on their website:, cost is $15.

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability

At the Nexus of Science and Society: Jesuits and the Science of Seismology

McElroy Commons 237, 12-1:30pm


  • John E. Ebel, Professor and Senior Research Scientist, Weston Observatory
  • Patrick H. Byrne, Professor, Philosophy Department 
  • Nawa Dahal, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Weston Observatory

Seismology is a global science, and the Jesuits and Jesuit universities have been involved in operating seismic stations and conducting earthquake studies in many parts of the world. Why would an order of priests like the Jesuits be so interested in seismology and scientific discovery? Join us for a session that will also explain how natural disasters particularly affect the world's most vulnerable communities. One of the presenters of this session is from Nepal, and his family was strongly affected by the earthquake that devastated his country in 2015. 

A light lunch will be provided. This session is sponsored by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences.

The Immigrant and Refugee Experience

Stokes Hall S117, 7-8pm

Please join the McGillycuddy-Logue Fellows for a panel discussion exploring the diverse experiences of immigrants and refugees and the challenges they encounter across different cultures. Featured panelists include Gabrielle Oliveira, Maheen Haider, and Elitsa Molles. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs

Interested in a career in international education?

Murray House, Living Room, 12-1pm

Interested in a career in international education but don't know where to start? Come along to this information session about BC's own MA program in International Higher Education. Pizza will be provided to those who register. Please RSVP to

Sponsored by the Center for International Higher Education

Recent Trends in Inequality in the U.S.: Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, Boston College

Stokes Hall N217, 12-1pm

Presented by: Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, Associate Professor of the Practice, Economics Department, Boston College

Economic inequality in the United States has been worsening over the last four decades. Middle-class men have seen real income declines, women's progress towards equal pay with men has stalled out, and racial inequality remains a major problem. And all of this is happening against a backdrop of rising incomes for the very rich. This presentation will focus on documenting these facts and then providing a brief overview of what economics has to say about these trends. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to

Sponsored by the Department of Economics

30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Devlin Hall 026, 5-6pm

On November 9th 1989, the Berlin Wall became open as a passageway between East and West Berlin. The East Berliners experienced the harshness of the political regime under Communism. Explore the fall of the Berlin Wall with professors Susan and John Michalczyk, Michael Resler, and Ralf Gawlick.

Sponsored by the Department of Music, Department of German Studies, and Film Studies Program

Corporate Citizens and the Sustainable Development Goals

McGuinn Hall 521, 12-1:30pm

What roles do corporations play in society? What roles should they play? The United Nations Global Compact has outlined through the Sustainable Development Goals 17 dimensions within which companies can be creating social and business value. How are companies making progress against these goals? Come to this interactive discussion about corporate citizenship past, present, and future. Presenters: Katherine Smith, Executive Director, Center for Corporate Citizenship, and Kent Greenfield, Professor, Law School Light lunch will be provided.

Sponsored by the Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Law School

Environmental In(Justice) in the Americas: A Conversation from Puerto Rico and Honduras

Gasson Hall 100, 12pm

Join us for a live conversation with climate experts and farmers/ranchers in Puerto Rico and Honduras about the impact of more intense hurricanes and a changing climate on rural and urban livelihoods, agriculture, and human health.  Learn about the grassroots efforts in these areas to adapt to new environmental stresses and to mitigate carbon emissions. The three-way conversation, using video links provided by the Global Engagement Portal, will be moderated by Professor Tara Pisani Gareau, Director of Boston College’s Environmental Studies and former Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras (1997-1999).  Following the live conversation, participants are invited to discuss in small groups how the Boston College community connects to and responds to our American neighbors' experiences.

Sponsored by the International Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Global Engagement Portal

International Scholars Reception

Fulton Hall Honors Library, 3-5pm

Reception for international faculty and scholars and their sponsoring faculty member. By invitation only. RSVP to by Friday, November 8

Sponsored by the Office of International Students and Scholars

When Technology Meets Reality: Social, economic, and political complexities of deploying environmental technologies around the world

McElroy Commons 237, 12-1:30pm


  • Timothy G. Gutowski, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Praveen Kumar, Assistant Professor, Boston College School of Social Work
  • Jonathan S. Krones, Core Fellow / Visiting Assistant Professor, Boston College

Global environmental and health crises often call out for technological solutions. But to be effective, these solutions must be aligned with the social, economic, and political complexities of the regions in which they are deployed. Join us for an engaging conversation that will examine three cases of how technological optimism is tempered by reality: tensions between cheap coal and decarbonization efforts in rapidly industrializing countries; sources of resistance to the adoption of clean cookstoves in India; and how the international waste trade undermines recycling efforts in high-income countries.

A light lunch will be provided. This session is sponsored by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences

What is the role of faith-based communities in addressing climate injustice?

McElroy Commons 237, 4-5pm

This panel discussion - featuring Rabbi Shoshana Friedman of Hebrew College, Professor Dorothy Boorse of Gordon College and Professor Andrea Vicini of Boston College - will consider how faith communities, including universities, engage with the moral dimensions of climate injustice around the world. The event is sponsored by the Center for International Higher Education.

Participants are welcome to stay after the discussion for a reception in celebration of International Education Week. Please RSVP to

Sponsored by the Center for International Higher Education

IEW 2019 Reception

McElroy Commons 237, 5-6pm

Join us for a celebration of the 2019 International Education Week at Boston College. Directly following the "What is the Role of Faith-based Communities in Addressing Climate Injustice?" panel, this event is open to the public. Refreshments will be available.

Co-sponsored by the Office of International Programs and the Office of International Students and Scholars

Seeking Solutions to the Planetary Health Threats of the Anthropocene Epoch

Campion Hall 139, 12-1:30pm


  • Laura E. Hake, Associate Professor, Biology Department
  • Philip J. Landrigan, Professor and Director, Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory

Two leading scholars will discuss the implications of global climate change and environmental pollution for public health within the span of humankind, providing a context for the very significant realities of today and in seeking solutions for the future. Join us for this interactive session, where participants will be encouraged to share examples of how climate change and environmental imbalances are bringing disruption in their own communities, in the U.S. and beyond.

A light lunch will be provided. This session is sponsored by the Office of International Programs.

Panel on Research and Study in the Islamic World

Hovey House Library, 12-1:30pm

Students will present their academic research conducted in the MENA region. Learn about semester/year and summer programs abroad, as well as matching scholarship and grant opportunities, including the Omar Aggad Fellowships, the Mizna Fellowships, the Fung Scholars Program, McGillycuddy-Logue Travel Grants, Boren Scholarships, Critical Language Scholarships and more. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to

Co-sponsored by the Islamic Civilization and Societies Program and the Office of International Programs at Boston College

International Club of BC Prom

Vanderslice Hall Cabaret Room, 9-11pm

Formal attire encouraged but not required. Students can pick up tickets between November 11 and November 15 at Robsham Theatre Box Office. Tickets are free - just bring your BC ID.

Sponsored by the International Club of Boston College