Illinois State University’s Office of International Studies has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State for a faculty and student exchange program with Guatemala to promote environmental justice.

The grant, through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, will be used to develop a new program called Environmental Justice: A Partnership between Illinois State University and Universidad Rafael Landívar (URL).

“This grant will provide seed money to develop a faculty and student exchange program that will add a global dimension in the area of environmental justice to the legal and criminal studies programs at Universidad Rafael Landívar (URL) and Illinois State University (ISU),” said Luis Canales, director of the Office of International Studies.

URL School of Law and Social Sciences’ Director of Projects and Services Vania Soto called the project the beginning of a promising institutional relationship with Illinois State. “This is a valuable opportunity to exchange different ways of addressing environmental legal conflicts from an academic perspective,” said Soto, who added the project will enable the promotion of global awareness in the educational community.

The Universidad Rafael Landívar is located in Guatemala City, Guatemala. While at URL, ISU students and faculty will visit important Guatemalan legal institutions, observe mock trials regarding environmental legal conflict, and participate in laboratories. URL students and faculty who will visit ISU have the opportunity to participate in workshops, course observations, and field visits to organizations working on environmental justice.

The Innovation Fund grant competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Cementos Progreso, supports new partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States and higher education institutions in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

For more information, please contact the Office of International Studies through their website or at (309) 438-5276.