Environmental and Social Justice

MenoukhaCaseMenoukha Case, Center for Distance Learning, SUNY Empire State College writes:

“Environmental and social justice studies concern issues at intersections between the environment and human rights or equity – for example, exploitation of indigenous lands and resources, or environmental racism such as the dumping of toxins in areas where poor people of color live. Environmental and social justice study may also concern broader ecological issues, such as the movements that address devastation of rain forest, or animal or insect species or plant genus losses. What these will have in common are the questions, what can we do about it, how shall we speak about it, and who or what parties should we address in order to effect change. It is therefore a highly creative and individualized field.”

“Social justice may also be an issue when it concerns indigenous rights, world views, and values. Mining in the Grand Canyon – in la Sierra Madre, Colombia – mining and drilling in Central Australia – drilling near Bear Butte in the Black Hills – to some these are economic or ecological issues but for indigenous peoples, the issues include religious freedom since these are sacred sites.”

Below is a list of resources on this topic. Find a more complete list of resources with links for learning and teaching about this topic on our Pinterest site: Follow Sustainability’s board Environmental and Social Justice on Pinterest.


The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, Kate Pickett

Web Resources

Chief Oren Lyons speaks about Climate Change at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN Headquarters in 2007. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWiRFAvxu3k

United States Department of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration page on Environmental Justice http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/index.cfm

Environmental Justice / Environmental Racism www.ejnet/ej

Environmental Justice for All:  A Fifty State Survey of Legislation, Policies and Cases Fourth Edition February 15, 2010. Written in association with the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities and the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources found at http://gov.uchastings.edu/

Environmental Justice for All: A Fifty State Survey of Legislation, Policies and Cases http://gov.uchastings.edu/public-law/docs/ejreport-fourthedition.pdf

The Environmental Justice site from the EPA. www.eqa.gov/environmentaljustice/