Black Lives Matter has been the hot topic of discussion this week. I’ve been vocal in support of the movement, and have shared various resources over on Instagram. However, I only recently became aware of environmental racism. Prior to this week I’d never encountered the topic. It’s a brand new concept for me.
I won’t lie, I initially rolled my eyes at the idea. I thought “how can this possibly be a thing?” Simply because I couldn’t actually fathom how the two could be connected. They were two entirely separate concepts to me. But for many, this is not a brand new concept at all.
Because I’m from a place of privilege, I wouldn’t have immediately picked up on this. I’d been blind to the injustices faced by non-white communities. So I’ve decided to share the resources I’ve found on the subject. That’s right, I’ve done the hard bit for you! This includes journal articles, podcasts, books, and TED Talks. I know we all learn in different ways, so wanted a wide variety of resources.
Firstly, I’ve only provided links for open access journals. Because fuck having to pay >£35 for 24-hour access to one paper. Academia is crazy! Secondly, I included some key points for those not wanting to read the full texts.
Greening the Ghetto. Majora Carter TED Talk. Click to watch.
Endocrine Disruption, Environmental Justice, and the Ivory Tower. Tyrone Hayes TEDxBerkeley Talk. Click to watch.
Environmental Justice in Mi’kmaq & African Nova Scotian Communities. Ingrid Waldron TEDxMSVUWomen Talk. Click to watch.
Patriarchy, Racism, and Colonialism Caused the Climate Crisis. Jamie Margolin TEDxYouth@Columbia Talk. Click to watch.
Climate Change is a Social Justice Issue. Adriana Laurent TEDxUBC Talk. Click to watch.
Racism and Climate Change Are About You. Dr. Atyia Martin TEDxDirigo. Click to watch.
Exploring Environmental Racism in Bangladesh. Syeda Rizwana Hasan TEDxDhaka. Click to watch.
Black Nature Narratives. Click to listen on Spotify.
You Thought You Were an Environmentalist: An Environmental Justice Podcast. Click to listen on Spotify.
The Colour Green. Click to listen on Spotify.
Crossroads Podcast. Click to listen on Spotify.
Facing It. Click to listen on Spotify.
At the Intersection. Click to listen on Spotify.
Talk Climate Change to Me. Click to listen on Spotify.
How to Save the World. Click to listen on Spotify.
As Long As Grass Grows – Dina Gilio-Whitaker.
Our History is the Future – Nick Estes.
The Disproportionate Health Risk of Environmental Racism – Rufus Jimerson.
There’s Something in the Water – Ingrid Waldron.
Toxic Communities – Dorceta Taylor.
A Terrible Thing to Waste – Harriet Washington.
Clean and White – Carl Zimring. *Audiobook is available for FREE on Amazon.
Environmental Racism in the United States and Canada – Bruce Johansen.
From the Ground Up – Luke Cole.
Veganism of Colour: in Human and Nonhuman Liberation – Julia Feliz Brueck. *Available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.
As I mentioned, environmental racism is not a new concept. Plenty of research dates as early as 1991. It’s just not a concept that gets discussed in the mainstream media, or at least, it’s not addressed as ‘environmental racism’.
I’ve learned that climate justice can’t be achieved without social justice. In short, both causes have several intersecting issues [as you’ll have noticed me mention]. Therefore I’ll be integrating this with my usual sustainability content. If I want to continue to educate about sustainability related issues, I must cover all of the bases. I can’t leave out the huge chunk of the sustainability conversation that is environmental racism and justice.
There’s a bunch more resources I could’ve included but I wanted to keep this relatively short. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means… But it’s a start! I feel like this is a learning curve for all of us. (Myself included). Above all, what counts is that we put the effort in. Especially if, like me, you’re white. We have a level of privilege which allows us to completely isolate ourselves from these issues. Unless, of course, we actively try to understand them.
Feel free to bookmark this post to refer back to when you need it!
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.