Environmental Racism Research, Activism Wins Student 2018 MCCJ Silver Medallion

Picture of Alison Kasney

Alison Kasney

Alison Kasney, a joint degree student in the M.S. Ed. in Law, Community and Social Change program with a focus on social justice and public interest, recently won the 2018 MCCJ Student Medallion Award.

The prestigious Silver Medallion Award from the MCCJ, formerly Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, has been presented in Miami since 1946 to honor Miami Dade citizens “for service to humanity". The MCCJ Student Silver Medallion award recognizes young humanitarians who will be inclusive leaders in the future and have demonstrated commitment to community and social change.

Research on Miami and Water Segregation

Kasney has been working with the Environmental Justice Clinic since last year researching environmental racism, specifically the history of water segregation in Miami. She is also a Program Coordinator with the Institute for Civic Engagement & Democracy, where she works to promote service-learning and volunteerism among students and to build campus-university partnerships.
“Alley, who lives and breathes being an inclusive leader and community service, embodies the spirit MCCJ Student Silver Medallion award,” said Natalie Barefoot, Practitioner-in-Residence for the Environmental Justice Clinic.

“Pioneering the way as the Environmental Justice Clinic’s first interdisciplinary student, Alley supports a historically disenfranchised community, while ensuring that she is considering diverse perspectives.”

Work with Youth Led to Interest in Civic Engagement

Kasney, who hails from Colorado, has worked with youth populations in outdoor experiential education in the Rocky Mountains. Her work with youth has influenced her interest in sociopolitical development, youth-adult partnerships, and civic engagement. Her personal commitment in her community and social change work is to "inform herself to inform others" to provide actionable opportunities for change.

“Alley’s work investigating the regulatory history of water segregation in the West Grove is an invaluable contribution to the community’s story and to laying the groundwork for further social change for the West Grove community,” said Barefoot.

“In addition, the perspective that she adds to our classroom discussion is immeasurable and has made an impact on the law students with whom she is working. We are thrilled for Alley and can think of no better student to deserve the honor of the MCCJ Student Silver Medallion award.”

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