Skip to main content

Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice in the US

Starting points

Picture of community trying to hold back wave of polluted water with text at bottom: "Stand with frontline communities in the fight for environmental justice, against the ravages of toxic chemicals and climate change"

"America is segregated and so is pollution. Race and class still matter and map closely with pollution, unequal protection, and vulnerability.  Today, zip code is still the most potent predictor of an individual’s health and well-being.  Individuals who physically live on the “wrong side of the tracks” are subjected to elevated environmental health threats and more than their fair share of preventable diseases. Still, too many people and communities have the “wrong complexion for protection.” Reducing environmental, health, economic and racial disparities is a major priority of the Environmental Justice Movement." (Dr. Robert Bullard)

Guide reused and adapted with permission from Environmental Justice by Emily Keller and Maureen Nolan at the University of Washington's Suzzallo Library.