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Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice

Guide to information resources for researching environmental justice and environmental racism.

Background Information Sources

Sources for finding background information often include encyclopedias, books, library databases, government websites and interviews or oral histories.The advantages to finding background information on your topic, include: 

  • Contextual Understanding: Provides context for your research topic, including historical, social and cultural factors
  • Research Focus: Helps you refine your research focus by narrowing down your research questions
  • Source Selection: Assists in selecting appropriate and credible sources for your research
  • Critical Thinking: Encourages you to critically evaluate existing research on a topic

Environmental Racism Background Information

From Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic - Environmental racism refers to the deliberate placement of toxic and hazardous waste sites, incinerators, landfills, and polluting industries in communities populated mainly by minorities, including Latinos, African Americans, Asians, migrant farm workers, and the working poor. It also includes “any government, institutional, or industry action, or failure to act, that has a negative environmental impact which disproportionately harms—whether intentionally or unintentionally—individuals, groups, or communities based on race or color.” 

Other key library databases you can use to find background information on Environmental Racism include: 














This guide is adapted with permission from Environmental Justice by Emily Keller and Maureen Nolan at the University of Washington's Suzzallo Library.