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For more information about environmental justice, what it is, how it affects communities, and what to do about it, check out some of these great resources:

  • Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, by Robert D. Bullard, published March 24th 2000 by Westview Press 

To be poor, working-class, or a person of color in the United States often means bearing a disproportionate share of the country’s environmental problems. Starting with the premise that all Americans have a basic right to live in a healthy environment, Dumping in Dixie chronicles the efforts of five African American communities, empowered by the civil rights movement, to link environmentalism with issues of social justice. 

  • Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility, by Dorceta Taylor, published June 20th 2014 by New York University Press

Drawing on an array of historical and contemporary case studies from across the country, Taylor explores controversies over racially-motivated decisions in zoning laws, eminent domain, government regulation (or lack thereof), and urban renewal. She provides a comprehensive overview of the debate over whether or not there is a link between environmental transgressions and discrimination, drawing a clear picture of the state of the environmental justice field today and where it is going. In doing so, she introduces new concepts and theories for understanding environmental racism that will be essential for environmental justice scholars. A fascinating landmark study, Toxic Communities greatly contributes to the study of race, the environment, and space in the contemporary United States.

  • The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution, by Robert D. Bullard (Editor), Maxine Waters (Foreword by), published October 1st 2005 by Counterpoint

This much anticipated follow-up to Dr. Robert D. Bullard’s highly acclaimed Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color captures the voices of frontline warriors who are battling environmental injustice and human rights abuses at the grassroots level around the world, and challenging government and industry. policies and globalization trends that place people of color and the poor at special risk.

  • Environmental Justice: Concepts, Evidence and Politics, by Gordon Walker, published in 2012 by Routledge

Environmental justice has increasingly become part of the language of environmental activism, political debate, academic research and policy making around the world. It raises questions about how the environment impacts on different people’s lives. Does pollution follow the poor? Are some communities far more vulnerable to the impacts of flooding or climate change than others? Are the benefits of access to green space for all, or only for some? Do powerful voices dominate environmental decisions to the exclusion of others? This book focuses on such questions and the complexities involved in answering them. It explores the diversity of ways in which environment and social difference are intertwined and how the justice of their interrelationship matters.

  • From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement, by Luke W. Cole (Author), Sheila R. Foster (Contributor), published in 2001 by New York University Press

When Bill Clinton signed an Executive Order on Environmental Justice in 1994, the phenomenon of environmental racism―the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards, particularly toxic waste dumps and polluting factories, on people of color and low-income communities―gained unprecedented recognition. Behind the President’s signature, however, lies a remarkable tale of grassroots activism and political mobilization. Today, thousands of activists in hundreds of locales are fighting for their children, their communities, their quality of life, and their health. From the Ground Up critically examines one of the fastest growing social movements in the United States, the movement for environmental justice. Tracing the movement’s roots, Luke Cole and Sheila Foster combine long-time activism with powerful storytelling to provide gripping case studies of communities across the U.S―towns like Kettleman City, California; Chester, Pennsylvania; and Dilkon, Arizona―and their struggles against corporate polluters.

  • ‘Toxic Burden’  

Episode on Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting

This week, Reveal goes to places where poisonous chemicals are so deadly that they can devastate a town. And they all have one thing in common: The people in these towns are overwhelmingly black, brown and poor. Through the dangerous combination of racist attitudes and cheap land, polluting industries often are avoiding responsibility – all while the government turns a blind eye.

  • ‘Hit First And Worst’: Region’s Communities Of Color Brace For Climate Change Impacts

Episode on wbur: Boston’s NPR news station

The consequences of climate change, experts say, will disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. And those same communities often already are located among environmental hazards like trash incinerators, fuel storage tanks and the toxic remains that come with them.

  • What Is Environmental Justice? Video produced by the National Resource Defence Council

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