What is 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. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision‐making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”. – United States Environmental Protection Agency 

Environmental Justice Resources


Black Faces, White Spaces by Carolyn Finney*
Clean and White: a History of Environmental Racism in the United States by Carl A. Zimring
Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality by Robert D. Bullard*
Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices From the Grassroots by Robert Bullard*
Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color Robert D. Bullard*
There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid Waldron*
From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement by Luke Cole and Sheila R. Foster*
The Treadmill of Production: Injustice and Unsustainability in the Global Economy by Kenneth Gould
Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, And Residential Mobility by Dorceta E. Taylor*
Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World by John Freeman
Environmental Racism and the Movement for Black Lives: Grassroots Power in the 21st Century by Rickie Cleere*
Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town by Melissa Checker
Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land by Leah Penniman*
What Is Critical Environmental Justice? by David N. Pellow*
*BIPOC Authors


Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate Change and Anti-Racism – Somini Sengupta*
Racism Derails our Efforts to Save the Planet – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson*
Slow Violence – Rob Nixon
Fumes Across the Fence-Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil and Gas Facilities on African American Communities*
We Can’t Solve the Climate Crisis Unless Black Lives Matter – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson


Cooked: Survival by Zipcode
Drumbeat for Mother Earth
Fenceline: A company Town Divided
In Our Own Backyards: Uranium Mining in the United States
Climate Refugees

Resources for Additional Information

Dr. Robert Bullard– Prominent Scholar of Environmental Justice
Intersectional Environmentalist
Anaya Elizabeth Johnson
Native Movement
NAACP Climate Justice Resources
Anti-Racism Resources from Belk Library

This is a living resource list. If you have suggestions for additions to this page, please email sustainability@elon.edu.