October 1, 2022

New community garden grows in Bragg Hill neighborhood (The Free Lance-Star)

Bonds Pens Op-Ed in ‘The Free Lance Star’

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds, who is a founding member of Fossil Free Fredericksburg, penned an op-ed for The Free Lance-Star entitled Commentary: Acting on climate change has benefits beyond carbon emission reduction. 

In December 2019, Fredericksburg’s city council made commitments to power all city operations with 100% renewable energy by 2035, and to shift away from fossil fuel-derived energy across the city by 2050.

Fredericksburg and its public schools have taken some important steps to achieve these goals.

For instance, the city has hired a new sustainability coordinator to help lead this effort. Further, both the city and Fredericksburg Public Schools are working with an energy service company to increase efficiency and eliminate energy waste. The city is also replacing some of the conventional vehicles in its fleet with hybrids, and is conducting a strategic assessment to explore cost effective ways to replace vehicles at the end of their use cycle with electric cars and trucks. The city is also partnering with the Local Energy Alliance Program to run a Solarize campaign, which makes adding solar panels on rooftops easier and more affordable for homeowners. In another exciting development, Fredericksburg Public Schools is purchasing ten new electric school buses. Read more.

Human Rights Coalition Formed by Inmates at Rappahannock Jail (90.3 WCPN)

Bonds Publishes Research on the Historical Origins of Environmental Inequality

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds recently published an article in the journal Environmental Justice on the historical origins of contemporary environmental injustice in Hopewell, Virginia. The tile and abstract are below:

Historical Environmental Injustice Excavation: The Intentional–and Illegal–Origins of Environmental Inequality in Hopewell, VA

Abstract: There is a growing desire across our country to understand the ways that historical injustices in America’s racist past set the groundwork for today’s racial inequalities. Scholars, students, and activists might meet this moment by doing historical environmental injustice excavation. In order to demonstrate the multiple benefits of this straightforward and accessible case-study method, I present research on Hopewell, a small industrial city in Virginia. As this example shows, such studies can help uncover the locally specific causal pathways that created contemporary environmental injustice, while also providing further evidence that many of today’s environmental inequalities did not arise through happenstance, but are the product of intentional decision-making by White powerholders. And as in the case of Hopewell, further studies may uncover the criminal origins of many ongoing environmental injustices, in which city governments acted in the past with impunity to violate the law in ways that continue to harm people of color today. Finally, such research can help us discover acts of courageous resistance that may push us to rethink when the environmental justice movement was “born.”

Bonds Discusses Human Rights on ‘With Good Reason’

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds will appear on the upcoming “With Good Reason” show Saturday, April 24 – Friday, April 29. With Good Reason airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

Protecting Human Rights (April 24, 2021)

Kirsten Gelsdorf (University of Virginia) has spent over 20 years working for the United Nations and other organizations in the humanitarian sector. She discusses her experience in disaster zones and clears up some commonly-held misconceptions about humanitarian aid. And: Earlier this year, Virginia became 1 of only 10 states to pass a Bill of Rights for domestic workers. But Jennifer Fish (Old Dominion University) says while it’s certainly a step in the write direction, these protections often exist only on paper. Jennifer has been named an Outstanding Faculty member by The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Later in the show: According to the Guiness Book of World Records, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world. But it’s not typically taught in American classrooms. Eric Bonds (University of Mary Washington) says we could learn a lot from studying the document and applying its moral framework to our own communities in the United States. Plus: Before the Cold War, UN peacekeeping missions were executed almost entirely by the United States and Great Britain. Now, developing countries have taken the lead in providing manpower to UN peacekeeping forces. Tim Passmore (Virginia Military Institute) says this may signal a larger shift in the global power structure.

Bonds Publishes Updated and Expanded Edition of Social Problems Text

Social Problems: A Human Rights PerspectiveEric Bonds recently published a second edition of his textbook, Social Problems: A Human Rights Approach with Routledge Press. The book uses an international human rights framework as a jumping-off place to teach students about power and inequality in U.S. society. This revised and expanded edition includes new chapters on human rights and immigration, climate change, and public health. It also includes new discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Bonds Mentioned in FLS Article on Rt. 1 Name Change

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds was mentioned in an article on the Fredericksburg City Council’s resolution to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway, a measure that was approved 6-1. The General Assembly will discuss the name change at a special session in August. History and American Studies Associate Professor Will Mackintosh has also been a driving force behind the current effort, Bonds said.

Bonds and two students in his political sociology class had asked City Council to make the change because of Davis’ role in the Civil War and the fact that he’d owned more than 100 slaves during his lifetime.

The request evolved out of Bonds’ desire for the students to do a community involvement project that would help them develop democracy skills and not simply vote in an election and then tune out. The class overwhelmingly voted on the renaming project, and researched Davis and the history of the naming of the highway after him. Read more.

Bonds, Students Speak at City Council Meeting on Highway Renaming

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds and his students recently spoke at a Fredericksburg City Council meeting to discuss renaming the stretch of Route 1 that runs by the University of Mary Washington, according to an article in The Free Lance-Star.

The name, due to its associations with the Confederacy and slavery, has come under fire in several other localities in recent years. In 2016, UMW Assistant Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds and two students in his political sociology class asked City Council during one of its meetings to rename the highway because of Davis’ role in the Civil War and the fact that he’d owned more than 100 slaves during his lifetime.

The request evolved out of his desire for the students to do a community involvement project that would help them develop democracy skills and not simply vote in an election and then tune out. The class overwhelming voted on this project, and researched Davis and the history of the naming of the highway after him. Read more.

Fredericksburg council eyes support for renaming Jefferson Davis Highway (The Free Lance-Star)

COMMENTARY: Fredericksburg needs a climate change plan (The Free Lance-Star)