The environmental justice movement grew out of the Civil Rights movement, led primarily by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the 1980s who wanted to call attention to polluting industries, power plants and waste disposal areas and their proximity to communities of color.
n 1994, the federal government defined environmental justice as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. To learn more about the history of environmental justice in the US, you can visit the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Justice Timeline.
Environmental justice can be a complex and sensitive topic to learn and teach. The resources on this page can provide some guidance. Whether you are teaching about environmental justice to youth or adults, review some recommended practices and discussion agreements.
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