Racial and Environmental Justice Resources
A collaboration between Outdoor U and Environmental Studies, this page is a compilation of resources intended to aid those who are interested in learning about environmental justice, racial justice, social justice and how they all intersect. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on these issues but are provided as a place to begin learning.
- Intersectionality: " [Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct."
- EPA Definition of Environmental Justice: " Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies."
- Movement Definition of Environmental Justice: "Environmental justice means that all communities have a right to a healthy environment where we live, work and play."
- Climate Justice: "As a form of environmental justice, climate justice is the fair treatment of all people and the freedom from discrimination in the creation of policies and projects that address climate change as well as the systems that create climate change and perpetuate discrimination."
- Environmental Racism: Defined by Reverend Benjamin Chavis, environmental racism is "the intentional selection of communities of color for wastes disposal sites and polluting industrial facilities, essentially condemning them to contamination."
- Sovereignty: "Sovereignty is a political concept that refers to dominant power or supreme authority... In modern democracies, sovereign power rests with the people and is exercised through representative bodies such as Congress or Parliament...The term also carries implications of autonomy; to have sovereign power is to be beyond the power of others to interfere."
- (video) Dr. Robert Bullard- PBS short, How Environmental Racism Shapes the US
What is Racism?
- What Is Racism: Definitions and Examples- This article defines key terms necessary to understand the issue of racism.
- What's the Difference Between Prejudice and Racism?- Learn the differences and impacts of both.
- Talking About Race: Whiteness- This interactive article provides resources and self reflection opportunities to understand how being white has shaped your life.
- (video) Racism has a cost for everyone- This TED Talk explains how the negative impacts of racism reach all people and systems.
- (podcast) 1619- A NYT produced podcast about the history of racism in the US.
What is Environmental Racism?
- Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change- Learn about how the beginnings of American racism has led to disproportionate environmental suffering for communities of color.
- Why Race Matters When We Talk About the Environment- Interview with Dr. Robert Bullard, the father of the Environmental Justice.
- Ten Ways that Racial and Environmental Justice are Inextricably Linked- Development of the links between race and the environmental justice movement following recent protests and unrest.
- This is environmental justice: How a protest in a North Carolina farming town sparked a national movement- Learn about historical injustices that kick-started the movement for environmental justice.
What is Environmental Injustice?
- (video) A Brief History of Environmental Justice- The how and when of the environmental justice movement.
- (video) Environmental Justice, Explained- Which people are most exposed to and impacted by pollution and climate change?
- What is Environmental Justice?- Stories of historic events that led to the organization of the Environmental Justice Movement.
Let's Get Specific
Justice in Minnesota
- (video) Jim Crow of the North- How restrictive real estate covenants created racial disparities in Minnesota.
- Mapping Prejudice: A painful part of Minneapolis history- This article and project uncover and map the history of segregation in Minneapolis.
- African Americans in Minnesota- The history and establishment of black communities in Minnesota.
- Environmental Justice- Environmental justice issues and statistics for the state of Minnesota.
- (interactive map) Twin Cities Environmental Justice- Learn about resource access, toxin proximity, and attributes of your own neighborhood with this interactive map.
- (video) I am Cheo- Join Cheo as he learns about the past and future of his homelands and what he can do to protect them from environmental harm.
- (video) ' A deadly, toxic slime': Spokane Tribe battles environmental fallout of shuttered uranium mine- Hear about the impacts on the land and tribal communities from the toxic waste of a Superfund site.
- Climate Change- This UN page outlines indigenous vulnerabilities to climate change and the impacts within tribes around the world.
- How 600 Years of Environmental Violence is Still Harming Black Communities- This article unpacks the history of environmental racism in America, beginning with its first European settlements.
- Why Queer Liberation Is an Environmental Justice Issue- Learn how social justice is linked to environmental justice, and how one can't be solved without the other.
- What the queer community brings to the fight for environmental justice- How those whose resources are limited because of their identity are vital in reaching just solutions to climate change.
- (TedTalk) How empowering women and girls can help stop global warming- This TedTalk connects the dots between women's rights and solutions to climate change.
- Women... in The Shadow of Climate Change- Why women are more vulnerable to the affects of climate change, and how their knowledge and experiences can greatly benefit mitigation efforts.
- Native American tribes struggle with coronavirus- Learn how preexisting conditions limit the ability of Native American communities to fight coronavirus.
- Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Injustice and the Coronavirus- An environmental health scientist explains the connections between societies facing inequalities, COVID-19 death rates, and increased pollution.
- Coronavirus is not just a health crisis- its an environmental justice crisis- Consider how the efforts of Martin Luther King, Jr. are relevant today, and the impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous, African American, and Latino communities.
- Food Deserts- What they are, who experiences them, and how they work.
- Food Apartheid- why the term 'food deserts' doesn't encompass the problem.
- Honoring the Contributions of America's Indigenous People- Learn the power of Indigenous food culture on American society and the struggles Indigenous people still face in achieving food security.
- (film) Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe in Resistance- Learn how oil extraction can harm local economies and communities.
- How Can Factories Affect the Environment?- This articles outlines potential social and environmental impacts of industrial pollution.
- Fossil Fuel Air Pollution Kills One in Five People- National Resource Defense Council article summarizing new scientific information on the impacts of air pollution.
- People in Poor Neighborhoods Breathe More Hazardous Particles- Learn about what conditions lead communities to have high levels of air pollutants in their neighborhoods, and what communities have an absence of these toxins.