Environmental Justice for All | National Humanities Center

TeacherServe Essays

Environmental Justice for All

Author: Bullard, Robert D.

A growing body of evidence reveals that people of color and low-income persons have borne greater environmental and health risks than the larger society. For years, residents of the nation’s ghettos, barrios, reservations, and rural “poverty pockets” watched helplessly as their communities became the dumping grounds for garbage, toxic waste, incinerators, smelters, sewage treatment plants, chemical industries, highways, and a host of other polluting facilities. A new environmental and economic justice movement has taken root in the United States, and spread around the world, that defines environment as “everything”—where we live, work, play, worship, and go to school, as well as the physical and natural world. Simply put, environmental justice means everyone is entitled to equal protection and equal enforcement of our environmental, health, housing, land use, transportation, energy, and civil rights laws and regulations.

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History / Environment and Nature / Environmental Justice / American History / Civil Rights / Racism / Legal History / Public Policy /