Environmental Justice Reading List

Rachel Ashley
June 18, 2020

Looking to get smart on the connection between climate, race, and environmental justice? We’ve compiled an Environmental Justice Reading List to get you up to speed, with something for everyone - regardless of if you consume your news in a good ol' paperback, through your headphones, or from the comfort of your TV.

Bite-Sized Reads

  • A Green New Deal architect explains how the protests and climate crisis are connected by James Temple (MIT Technology Review): Rhiana Gunn-Wright, the director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute, shows that you can’t really see the full impact of the fossil fuel industry until you look at it through the lens of racial justice.

  • I'm a black climate expert. Racism derails our attempts to save the planet by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (The Washington Post): Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson explains how racism is a distraction from the environmental movement.

Long Reads

  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: Robin Wall Kimmerer draws on her experience as an indigenous scientist to share how living beings - the plants and animals around us -  teach us lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to listen. (456 pages)

  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward: Jesmyn Ward’s big-hearted novel humanizes the real life experiences of vulnerable coastal communities who continue to thrive despite the lack of action by our government officials. (288 pages)


  • Can the Environmental Movement Address Racism?: Trump on Earth podcast hosts Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice, and Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus to discuss the disproportionately negative impact of pollution on people of color. (25 mins)


  • There's Something in the Water: Ellen Page uncovers environmental racism in Canada and the lethal effects of polluted water for black and brown communities. (1hr 11 mins, Netflix)

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