The Basics of Environmental and Social Justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainability is for Everyone

Social and Environmental Justice go hand in hand. Participation in environmentally sound practices, and providing adequate protection from environmentally harmful conditions, should not be dependent on one’s income. Grassroots organizations work hard to bring these issues to the attention of municipal leadership and the public. From toxic air and soil in low-income neighborhoods, to transportation and infrastructure discrimination, many decades-old biases remain.

Social Mobility

Job statistics can be slippery. A more meaningful look at a community’s social and economic health is through the opportunities available for advancement such as wages and benefits, bank lending practices, housing, education, and transportation. The modern disciplines of Environmental and Social Justice draw from lessons learned in the Civil Rights and Farm Worker’s Movements, and the countless Social Justice warriors before and after them who fight for fair and equal treatment of all people.

Environmental and Social Justice in a Modern World

Environmental and Social Justice issues are deep and complex. In a nutshell, Social Justice encompasses the fair and equitable treatment of all persons regardless of race, gender, gender expression, religion, ethnicity, background or income level. Environmental Justice speaks to the need for safe water, air, housing and food access for all people, and the protection of our natural resources. It also emphasizes the need for healthy green spaces in dense urban communities.

There are laws and protections that prohibit the unfair treatment of people, and some barriers to social mobility have been breached. Yet racism, sexism, classism and discrimination persist. The collective voice of people who fight for equitable policies and against ignorance and discrimination is a strong force in our modern society- aided by progressive education, social media, and well-organized Social Justice advocate groups. To learn more, please see the list of Advocate groups provided at the bottom of this page.

The links provided below are a sample of organizations I either have interacted with personally, know well through colleagues, or are established, respected advocacy groups.

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