Lecturer, Environmental Studies & Sciences Department, Santa Clara University
Law & Advocacy Program Co-Lead, Environmental Justice & the Common Good Initiative, Santa Clara University
Zsea Bowmani (Twitter: @LiberationGreen) teaches environmental law at Santa Clara University and co-leads the Law & Advocacy Project of the university’s Environmental Justice & the Common Good Initiative. Through this initiative, Zsea fosters university-community partnerships to achieve social and environmental justice in Northern California by connecting students to grassroots and community-led EJ advocacy in the region. Zsea also founded and currently coordinates the EJ Committee of the National Lawyers Guild - Bay Area Chapter for lawyers, law students, and legal workers to provide legal support to the local EJ movement.
As a scholar-activist, Zsea seeks to understand the relationships between seemingly disparate subjects—environmental law, human rights law, race and ethnicity, and sexual and gender identity—in order to effectively solve the critical environmental challenges of our time. He explores this in his forthcoming piece in the Tulane Journal of Law and Sexuality, proposing a framework of Black queer feminist ecology to harmonize environmental law with other fields such as critical race theory, Black feminist thought, queer ecology, and environmental studies to inform climate law and policy and environmental law more broadly. Zsea’s writing has also been published in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Tulane University School of Law Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series, and the University of Toledo College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series.
Prior to his role at SCU, Zsea was an attorney at the ACLU and a Policy Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force in Washington DC. In these roles, Zsea worked on a number of legal cases as well as state and federal policies to challenge the criminalization of marginalized communities, to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, and to expand access to health care. Among his accomplishments, Zsea helped draft joint amicus briefs for US Supreme Court cases addressing employer-sponsored health plans and restrictions on women’s access to comprehensive medical healthcare, and created a first-of-its-kind toolkit for reproductive justice and LGBTQ advocates.
Zsea has been honored with multiple awards for his activism and scholarship, including awards from the Charles Houston Bar Association, Asian Pacific American Bar Association-Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Reflecting his commitment to community service, Zsea sits on several boards, including most recently Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, a multiracial grassroots organization that fights for environmental justice and to build a clean, healthy, and just future for all.
Zsea received his BA in History from Stanford University and his JD from Santa Clara Law with certificates in Public International Law with honors, and Public Interest and Social Justice Law.