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Environmental Justice

A guide to the library's resources about environmental justice.

Environmental Justice: Introduction

Definitions

"All people and communities have the right to equal environmental protection under the law, and the right to live, work and play in communities that are safe, healthy and free of life-threatening conditions." (Environmental Justice Definitions, Environmental Justice: A Primer for Allies, Academics, Planners, and Scientists, Columbia University)

"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." (Environmental Justice, US EPA

Environmental Justice, Explained, a 3:33 minute YouTube video from Grist, a non-profit media organization specializing in storytelling about climate change and solutions.

Library Resources

The library has many resources related to environmental justice and environmental science. Explore the sections listed on the left to learn more about environmental justice: Books, Journal and Magazine Articles, Videos, and Games. We also have other library guides related to environmental justice that you may want to explore.

Websites

These are excellent websites that introduce you to the concept of environmental justice.

Books

The library has a large collection of books, both print and electronic, about environmental justice. You can see the entire list by using this search in the Discover library catalog: Environmental Justice. The titles below are a sampling of our collection.

Journal and Magazine Articles

The library has numerous databases through which you can find articles about environmental justice. The articles below provide examples of environmental justice issues. You can find many more articles with these databases:

Chakraborty, J. (2021). Convergence of COVID-19 and chronic air pollution risks: Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in the U.S. Environmental Research, 193, Article 110586. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110586

Collins, T. W., Grineski, S. E., & Morales, D. X. (2017). Sexual orientation, gender, and environmental injustice: Unequal carcinogenic air pollution risks in greater Houston. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107(1), 72-92. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2016.1218270

Ketcham, C. (2021). Forests to burn: The biomass-energy industry is a climate and environmental justice disaster. Sierra, January, 1-4. 

Ramirez, R. (2021). Where climate and race coverage meet: Environmental justice reporting chronicles how the climate crisis, racial inequity, and government policy impact vulnerable communities. Nieman Reports, 75(2), 34-39. 

Sorell, A. (2020). Environmental justice in Arlington, Texas. Mother Earth News, (303), 8-9.

Sullivan, J., & Parady, K. (2018). “Keep working for environmental justice no matter how bleak things look. Don’t give up. Don’t just go away”: An interview With Wilma Subra. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental & Occupational Health Policy, 28(3), 487-500. https://doi.org/10.1177/1048291118795161

Videos

The Media Library offers resources that bring awareness to environmental justice. These resources provide examples of environmental injustices, highlight the community movements that work to combat these injustices, and address environmental social policies and practices that can impact the well-being of communities disproportionately based on their race, color, national origin, income, and other demographics.

  • Awake: a Dream from Standing Rock - (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b6509117
    Record of the massive peaceful resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to the Dakota Access Pipeline through their land and underneath the Missouri River.
  • Arctic meltdown rising seas: Threatened Lands Threatened People - (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b6774878
    This film gives the viewer a first hand look at the human implications of global warming and helps us identify with populations who face the threat of becoming environmental refugees. We also hear the inspiring voices of those who are working constantly to minimize the impact of global warming, examine its causes, and encourage change.
  • The Devil We Know - (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b6377528
    Examines efforts by a group of citizens in West Virginia to hold the industrial giant Du Pont responsible for poisoning the drinking water supply as a result of dumping toxic chemicals.
  • The Condor & the Eagle - (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b6832024
    This film documents the stories of these four well-known Native environmental spokespeople who are at the forefront of a perspective shift in the identity of their people, from forgotten voices to strong shared communities with the power to bring change to the entire world. Their path through the jungle takes them on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another.
  • A Fierce Green Fire: the Battle for a Living Planet - (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b6829195)
    Spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism, this Sundance documentary brings to light the vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought--and succeeded--against enormous odds. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to fighting toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace to Chico Mendes; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, A Fierce Green Fire is "nothing less than the history of environmentalism itself".
  • From Flint: voices of a poisoned city - (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b6774832)
    From Flint goes beyond the news headlines to spotlight the impact of the devastating water contamination crisis on the people of Flint, Michigan. The film highlights the stories of residents who were personally injured, along with the work of local organizations and individuals that rallied to support them.

Games

  • CO2 (https://discover.library.unt.edu/catalog/b5715926)
    In the game CO₂, each player manages an energy company responding to government requests for new, green power plants. The goal is to stop the increase of pollution while meeting the rising demand for sustainable energy--and of course, profiting from doing so.

Attribution

This guide is modeled after the Environmental Justice Self-Study Guide created by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Washington University in St. Louis. We thank Travis Tucker, Jr., Associate Director of the Center, for permission to draw from the their guide.

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