ESPM 163AC: Environmental Justice

Environmental Racism


This course engages environmental problems, community responses, and policy debates regarding “environmental justice” (EJ) issues – essentially the race, class, and equity implications of environmental and health issues. The course presents research on distributions of environmental quality and health, enforcement of regulations, access to resources to respond to urban and industrial problems, and the broader political economy of decision-making around environmental and health issues. The course explores and critically analyzes philosophies, frameworks, and strategies underlying environmental justice movements and struggles of African American, Latino/Latina, Asian American, and Native American communities.

The course seeks to prepare students to critically analyze environmental outcomes and processes, providing frameworks for evaluating the equity implications of environmental policies and programs, and distributions of environmental amenities and burdens. Case studies of, and research methods for, identifying environmental, health, and social inequities that underlie environmental justice claims will be incorporated throughout the course. Students will also analyze community and government responses to environmental injustices, and critically assess recent strategies to promote more ecologically sound and socially just development.



Dara O’Rourke
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