Lauren Richter

ABOUT


I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, where I teach and do research on social inequality, health, and the environment. I use interviews, ethnography, and archives to examine adverse environmental health impacts. Currently I study U.S. regulatory frameworks to understand the social production of knowledge and ignorance. My research and teaching are shaped by critical race theory, environmental justice, science and technology studies, and environmental sociology.

I have published in Environmental Sociology, Environmental Health, Environmental Science & Technology, Social Studies of ScienceOrganization & Environment, the American Journal of Public Health, and Sociological Perspectives. In 2016, I co-founded the Racial Equity Task Force for the American Sociological Association Section on Environmental Sociology, co-organized the 2018 Bridging the Gap: Race and Environment Conference at Temple University, and guest co-edited a special collection on race and the environment for Environmental Sociology. Over the past three years, I have provided expert testimony in hearings on bills related to chemical regulation in the Rhode Island State House.

Prior to joining RISD, I was the recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, spending a year as a research fellow at the Silent Spring Institute and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University. Between M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, I worked at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment in California, and taught at the University of San Francisco. I study and practice anti-racist mindful facilitation, and had the opportunity to study with Rainbow Markell and Lee Mun Wah in Berkeley, CA. I served on the board of directors at Alternatives for Community and the Environment (ACE) from 2013-2017, and am a member of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Rhode Island.