Print or download the October Program Theme
Tree of Justice

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice is 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. Fair treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.

Why is it important?

Our environment affects us in ways that we can’t imagine, so when your environment is polluted and unsafe the effects can be vast. When there are environmental issues in your area, you might think to leave, but when these issues are centered in low-income and minority communities they may not have the resources to relocate. Many of these communities are also under-represented in our government, so their issues are often not the top priority. By remembering that your voice, vote, and beliefs matter you can help to promote environmental justice and equity.

What could my event look like?

  • Have your residents come together and call local Representatives and Congress member to raise awareness for an environmental issue in our community! This could also be partnered with a voter registration drive!
  • Raise awareness for an environmental cause that you are passionate about!
  • Partner with the Social Justice Advocate and/or Multicultural Advisor of your community to make a program that incorporates intersectionality and inclusiveness with environmental matters! How are neighborhoods with higher populations of people of color affected differently by various environmental issues?
  • Invite a group, organization, professor, or spokesperson to come talk to your residents about environmental issues across the globe and how they are handled!
  • Hold a group discussion about an environmental justice issue in our community. You could show a documentary for background information and offer food as well!
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