To understand why environmental justice matters, one need only remember that the movement fighting environmental racism is the result of what happens when people fear that their lives and health are being disproportionately put at risk because of the color of their skin or the sound of their accent.¹
This is a topic-guide for environmental justice and environmental racism and related topics (such as ecofeminism). Inside it you will find brief topic introductions, case studies, helpful videos, suggested readings, and links to Iowa State University Library resources.
Environmental justice and environmental racism are closely linked concepts. However, while environmental justice is something everyone may seek, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) populations² suffer from additional burdens and hardships due to environmental racism: i.e. a racism that manifests through a person's lived environment.
¹ Paul Mohai, David Pellow, J. Timmons Roberts (2009). Environmental Justice. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 34:1, 405-430 https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-082508-094348
² For an interesting and informed discussion about the terms People of Color, BIPOC, and more check out the Sept 30, 2020 episode of NPR's Code Switch podcast, "Is It Time To Say R.I.P. To 'POC'?."