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From the Ground Up by
Publication Date: 2000-11-01
A critical look at the movement for environmental justice. 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 that momentous 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 US--towns like Kettleman City, California; Chester, Pennsylvania; and Dilkon, Arizona--and their struggles against corporate polluters. The authors use social, economic and legal analysis to reveal the historical and contemporary causes for environmental racism. Environmental justice struggles, they demonstrate, transform individuals, communities, institutions and the nation as a whole.
Environmental inequality formation: Toward a theory of environmental injustice
There area number of conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues in the literature on environmental justice and environmental inequalities in need of refinement. Using data from the recycling industry, the author proposes an environmental inequality formation (EIF) perspective to address these issues.
Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007 Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism in the United States
"In 1987, the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice released its groundbreaking study Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States. The report was significant because it found race to be the most potent variable in predicting where commercial hazardous waste facilities were located in the U.S., more powerful than household income, the value of homes and the estimated amount of hazardous waste generated by industry.
This year, the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries commissioned a new report as part of the twentieth anniversary of the release of the 1987 report. The 2007 Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty report uses 2000 census data. The report also chronicles important environmental justice milestones since 1987 and includes a collection of “impact” essays from environmental justice leaders on a range of topics. This new report also examines the environmental justice implications in postKatrina New Orleans and uses the Dickson County (Tennessee) Landfill case, the “poster child” for environmental racism, to illustrate the deadly mix of waste and race.
Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty is designed to facilitate renewed grassroots organizing and provide a catalyst for local, regional and national environmental justice public forums, discussion groups and policy changes in 2007 and beyond."
Failed Promises: evaluating the federal government's response to environmental justice by
Publication Date: 2015-03-27
A systematic evaluation of the implementation of the federal government's environmental justice policies. In the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. Congress passed a series of laws that were milestones in environmental protection, including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. But by the 1990s, it was clear that environmental benefits were not evenly distributed and that poor and minority communities bore disproportionate environmental burdens. The Clinton administration put these concerns on the environmental policy agenda, most notably with a 1994 executive order that called on federal agencies to consider environmental justice issues whenever appropriate. This volume offers the first systematic, empirically based evaluation of the effectiveness of the federal government's environmental justice policies. The contributors consider three overlapping aspects of environmental justice: distributive justice, or the equitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits; procedural justice, or the fairness of the decision-making process itself; and corrective justice, or the fairness of punishment and compensation. Focusing on the central role of the Environmental Protection Agency, they discuss such topics as facility permitting, rulemaking, participatory processes, bias in enforcement, and the role of the courts in redressing environmental injustices. Taken together, the contributions suggest that--despite recent environmental justice initiatives from the Obama administration--the federal government has largely failed to deliver on its promises of environmental justice. Contributors Dorothy M. Daley, Eileen Gauna, Elizabeth Gross, David M. Konisky, Douglas S. Noonan, Tony G. Reames, Christopher Reenock, Ronald J. Shadbegian, Paul Stretesky, Ann Wolverton
As Long As Grass Grows: the indigenous fight for environmental justice, from colonization to Standing Rock by
Publication Date: 2019-04-02
Through the unique lens of "Indigenized environmental justice," Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy. Throughout 2016, the Standing Rock protest put a national spotlight on Indigenous activists, but it also underscored how little Americans know about the longtime historical tensions between Native peoples and the mainstream environmental movement. Ultimately, she argues, modern environmentalists must look to the history of Indigenous resistance for wisdom and inspiration in our common fight for a just and sustainable future.
Clean and White: a history of environmental racism in the United States by
Publication Date: 2016-01-08
Clean and White offers a history of environmental racism in the United States focusing on constructions of race and hygiene. When Joe Biden attempted to compliment Barack Obama by calling him "clean and articulate," he unwittingly tapped into one of the most destructive racial stereotypes in American history. This book tells the history of the corrosive idea that whites are clean and those who are not white are dirty. From the age of Thomas Jefferson to the Memphis Public Workers strike of 1968 through the present day, ideas about race and waste have shaped where people have lived, where people have worked, and how American society's wastes have been managed. In the wake of the civil war, as the nation encountered emancipation, mass immigration, and the growth of an urbanized society, Americans began to conflate the ideas of race and waste. Certain immigrant groups took on waste management labor, such as Jews and scrap metal recycling, fostering connections between the socially marginalized and refuse. Ethnic "purity" was tied to pure cleanliness, and hygiene became a central aspect of white identity. Carl A. Zimring here draws on historical evidence from statesmen, scholars, sanitarians, novelists, activists, advertisements, and the United States Census of Population to reveal changing constructions of environmental racism. The material consequences of these attitudes endured and expanded through the twentieth century, shaping waste management systems and environmental inequalities that endure into the twenty-first century. Today, the bigoted idea that non-whites are "dirty" remains deeply ingrained in the national psyche, continuing to shape social and environmental inequalities in the age of Obama.
Racial Ecologies by
Publication Date: 2018-08-01
From the Flint water crisis to the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, environmental threats and degradation disproportionately affect communities of color, with often dire consequences for people's lives and health. Racial Ecologies explores activist strategies and creative responses, such as those of Mexican migrant women, New Zealand Maori, and African American farmers in urban Detroit, demonstrating that people of color have always been and continue to be leaders in the fight for a more equitable and ecologically just world. Grounded in an ethnic-studies perspective, this interdisciplinary collection illustrates how race intersects with Indigeneity, colonialism, gender, nationality, and class to shape our understanding of both nature and environmental harm, showing how and why environmental issues are also racial issues. Indeed, Indigenous, critical race, and postcolonial frameworks are crucial for comprehending and addressing accelerating anthropogenic change, from the local to the global, and for imagining speculative futures. This forward-looking, critical intervention bridges environmental scholarship and ethnic studies and will prove indispensable to activists, scholars, and students alike.