The Environmental Law Institute is pleased to welcome Arielle V. King as its new environmental justice staff attorney. In this role, Arielle will help design and implement ELI’s strategic and organizational approach to environmental justice, mainstream environmental justice across ELI’s programmatic work, and strengthen our partnerships with other organizations focused on environmental justice. The new position is one of many actions identified in the ELI Board of Director’s Statement on Racism and Environmental Justice, issued less than a year ago.
“Last December, ELI reaffirmed its stand against racism and the institutional structures that perpetuate it, and committed itself to more fully integrate environmental justice into its vision and mission,” commented ELI President Scott Fulton. “While ELI is proud of our environmental justice work to date, Arielle’s experience, spirit, and dedication will bring a new energy to ELI and help us advance our environmental justice goals in the years ahead.”
Arielle is a recent graduate of Vermont Law School (VLS), earning both a JD and a Master of Environmental Law & Policy. At VLS, Arielle co-founded the Environmental Justice Law Society, a student group interested in advancing environmental justice through advocacy, education, and knowledge of the law. She also worked as an Advanced Student Clinician in the school’s Environmental Justice Clinic, which strives to use civil rights law to combat environmental harm in low-income communities and communities of color. And she was an inaugural member of the Climate Justice Practicum, a joint clinic with the Yale Center for Climate Change and Health. She was also the publisher of the school newspaper, The Forum, which she helped revive after a seven-year hiatus.
In 2021, ELI established an Environmental Justice Law Clerk program with Howard University Law School, and is working to create a Pro Bono Clearinghouse to match communities experiencing environmental injustices with law firms willing to volunteer legal services on behalf of these communities. Longer-term initiatives include developing products and programs that connect environmental justice with corporate sustainability and environment, social, and governance policies and priorities; identifying opportunities to advance environmental justice internationally; and pursuing and cementing relationships with ally organizations, both law and non-law focused, to better inform and guide ELI’s environmental justice activities. Arielle will play a key role in these various initiatives.
While not exhaustive, examples of ELI’s environmental justice work can be found on its website at https://www.eli.org/environmental-justice.