Multimedia Climate Justice and DEIAJ Tools

Below are additional resources to consult on the journey towards advancing climate justice and DEIAJ in higher education and cross-sector partnerships.

Consultant Database

Peer Recommended Consultant List

Second Nature’s Resilience Planning Working Group co-created a peer-recommended database of consultants who work on resilience planning, climate justice, and DEIAJ.

People of Color in Environmental & Climate Justice

As a one-stop-site for speakers, consultants, potential hires, board members, advisory group and steering committee members, and more, this website is designed to be the anecdote to the age old lamentation, “But I couldn’t find any people of color.” There are people of color engaging on environmental and climate justice in every state in the union and beyond! If one spends time on this site’s Environmental & Climate Justice Professionals Database, Graphic Notetakers Database, or Anti-Oppression, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professionals Database, one is guaranteed to find someone who can meet whatever need and/or find someone who knows someone who can meet the needs! Please remember, however, that Diversity is Not Enough: And Done Alone, It Can Be Counter Productive and pay heed to the advisories in this article and in the other papers linked within.

Articles and Peer Reviewed Literature

Beyond Land Acknowledgement in Settler Institutions

What does land acknowledgment do? Where does it come from? Where is it pointing? Existing literature, especially critiques by Indigenous scholars, unequivocally assert that settler land acknowledgments are problematic in their favoring of rhetoric over action. However, formal written statements may challenge institutions to recognize their complicity in settler colonialism and their institutional responsibilities to tribal sovereignty. Building on these critiques, particularly the writings of Métis cultural producer Chelsea Vowel, this article offers beyond as a framework for how institutional land acknowledgments can or cannot support Indigenous relationality, land pedagogy, and accountability to place and peoples. The authors describe the critical differences between Indigenous protocols of mutual recognition and settler practices of land acknowledgment. These Indigenous/settler differences illuminate an Indigenous perspective on what acknowledgments ought to accomplish. For example, Acjachemen/Tongva scholar Charles Sepulveda forwards the Tongva concept of Kuuyam, or guest, as “a reimagining of human relationships to place outside of the structures of settler colonialism.” What would it mean for a settler speaker of a land acknowledgment to say, “I am a visitor, and I hope to become a proper guest”? Two empirical examples are presented: the University of California, Los Angeles, where an acknowledgment was crafted in 2018; and the University of California, San Diego, where an acknowledgment is under way in 2020. The article concludes with beyond as a potential decolonial framework for land acknowledgment that recognizes Indigenous futures.

How inequality grows in the aftermath of hurricanes

Yale Climate Connections published an article detailing the recent history of hurricanes in the United States and how some frontline communities are still facing the repercussions of these natural disasters.

Native Governance Center

An article series by the Native Governance Center focused on strategies for moving beyond land acknowledgment.

New York City Panel on Climate Change 2019 Report Chapter 6: Community-Based Assessments of Adaptation and Equity

The NPCC3 Workgroup on Community-Based Assessment of Adaptation and Equity (CBA Workgroup) explored how equity concerns can be incorporated into climate change vulnerability assessments and community adaptation planning in New York City. The CBA Workgroup’s explicit focus on equity in vulnerability and adaptation is a new contribution to the NPCC. While prior New York State research by Leichenko et al. (2011) identified a need for consideration of equity and environmental justice in the analysis of state-wide climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation, the formation of the CBA Workgroup within the NPCC3 reflects the city’s recognition of and strong commitment to these issues.

Voelkel, Jackson, et al. “Assessing Vulnerability to Urban Heat: A Study of Disproportionate Heat Exposure and Access to Refuge by Socio-Demographic Status in Portland, Oregon.” MDPI, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 640; , 30 Mar. 2018,

Extreme urban heat is a powerful environmental stressor which poses a significant threat to human health and well-being. Exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, heat events are expected to become more intense and frequent as climate change progresses, though we have limited understanding of the impact of such events on vulnerable populations at a neighborhood or census block group level. Focusing on the City of Portland, Oregon, this study aimed to determine which socio-demographic populations experience disproportionate exposure to extreme heat, as well as the level of access to refuge in the form of public cooling centers or residential central air conditioning. During a 2014 heat wave, temperature data were recorded using a vehicle-traverse collection method, then extrapolated to determine average temperature at the census block group level. Socio-demographic factors including income, race, education, age, and English speaking ability were tested using statistical assessments to identify significant relationships with heat exposure and access to refuge from extreme heat. Results indicate that groups with limited adaptive capacity, including those in poverty and non-white populations, are at higher risk for heat exposure, suggesting an emerging concern of environmental justice as it relates to climate change. The paper concludes by emphasizing the importance of cultural sensitivity and inclusion, in combination with effectively distributing cooling centers in areas where the greatest burden befalls vulnerable populations.

What if the Wind and Sunshine Really Belonged to All of Us?

This article in the Nation suggests ways in which colleges, universities, schools, warehouses, and other buildings with large roofs and parking lots might install solar panels – or be incentivized to install them – in ways that benefit and empower neighboring urban communities.

Who is vulnerable and who is resilient to coastal flooding? Lessons from Hurricane Sandy in New York City

Social vulnerability and resilience indices identify populations who are at risk from hazards in order to guide policy to build resilience. This study investigates which of the indicators that commonly comprise the indices reflect vulnerability and resilience to coastal flooding in urban areas based on primary data that document the impacts of and recovery from Hurricane Sandy in New York City. The study constructs measures of vulnerability and resilience that are independent of proposed indicators and uses regression analysis to investigate which indicators influence these measures. The analysis finds that (1) middle- and low-income homeowners are less financially resilient than are poorer renters. The recovery cost middle- to low-income homeowners 2.4 times their annual per capita incomes, while renters paid out about half of their per capita incomes. Resilience increases with income but conditional on ownership of assets that are at risk. (2) Disabled and/or chronically ill residents are more vulnerable and less resilient by many outcome measures. (3) Non-white households experience longer disruptions of access to food. (4) Information, hazard-specific capacities of community groups, and pre-hazard access to services such as food and health care are important indicators of vulnerability and resilience. (5) The evidence that other commonly proposed indicators are correlated with independent measures of vulnerability and resilience to flooding is weak. The study yields hypotheses for further research on how relevant indicators differ across hazards and contexts.

Books and Book Chapters

Clean and White: a History of Environmental Racism in the United States

In this book published in 2017, Carl A. Zimring “draws on historical evidence from statesmen, scholars, sanitarians, novelists, activists, advertisements, and the United States Census of Population to reveal changing constructions of environmental racism. The material consequences of these attitudes endured and expanded through the twentieth century, shaping waste management systems and environmental inequalities that endure into the twenty-first century. Today, the bigoted idea that non-whites are “dirty” remains deeply ingrained in the national psyche, continuing to shape social and environmental inequalities in the age of Obama.”

Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality

This book provides the major economic, social, and psychological impacts associated with the siting of noxious facilities and their significance in mobilizing the African American community. It explores the barriers to environmental and social justice experienced by African Americans.

The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet

The Intersectional Environmentalist is an introduction to the intersection between environmentalism, racism, and privilege, and an acknowledgment of the fundamental truth that we cannot save the planet without uplifting the voices of its people — especially those most often unheard. Written by Leah Thomas, a prominent voice in the field and the activist who coined the term “Intersectional Environmentalism,” this book is simultaneously a call to action, a guide to instigating change for all, and a pledge to work towards the empowerment of all people and the betterment of the planet.

Sustainability: Approaches to Environmental Justice and Social Power

This book edited by Julie Sze is a critical resource for approaching sustainability across the disciplines. Sustainability and social justice remain elusive even though each is unattainable without the other. Across the industrialized West and the Global South, unsustainable practices and social inequities exacerbate one another. How do social justice and sustainability connect? What does sustainability mean and, most importantly, how can we achieve it with justice? This volume tackles these questions, placing social justice and interdisciplinary approaches at the center of efforts for a more sustainable world. Contributors present empirical case studies that illustrate how sustainability can take place without contributing to social inequality. From indigenous land rights, climate conflict, militarization and urban drought resilience, the book offers examples of ways in which sustainability and social justice strengthen one another. Through an understanding of history, diverse cultural traditions, and complexity in relation to race, class, and gender, this volume demonstrates ways in which sustainability can help to shape better and more robust solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Blending methods from the humanities, environmental sciences and the humanistic social sciences, this book offers an essential guide for the next generation of global citizens.

Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility

Uncovers the systemic problems that expose poor communities to environmental hazards. From St. Louis to New Orleans, from Baltimore to Oklahoma City, there are poor and minority neighborhoods so beset by pollution that just living in them can be hazardous to your health. Due to entrenched segregation, zoning ordinances that privilege wealthier communities, or because businesses have found the ‘paths of least resistance,’ there are many hazardous waste and toxic facilities in these communities, leading residents to experience health and wellness problems on top of the race and class discrimination most already experience. Taking stock of the recent environmental justice scholarship, Toxic Communities examines the connections among residential segregation, zoning, and exposure to environmental hazards. Renowned environmental sociologist Dorceta Taylor focuses on the locations of hazardous facilities in low-income and minority communities and shows how they have been dumped on, contaminated and exposed.Drawing on an array of historical and contemporary case studies from across the country, Taylor explores controversies over racially-motivated decisions in zoning laws, eminent domain, government regulation (or lack thereof), and urban renewal. She provides a comprehensive overview of the debate over whether or not there is a link between environmental transgressions and discrimination, drawing a clear picture of the state of the environmental justice field today and where it is going. In doing so, she introduces new concepts and theories for understanding environmental racism that will be essential for environmental justice scholars. A fascinating landmark study, Toxic Communities greatly contributes to the study of race, the environment, and space in the contemporary United States.

What is Critical Environmental Justice?

Human societies have always been deeply interconnected with our ecosystems, but today those relationships are witnessing greater frictions, tensions, and harms than ever before. These harms mirror those experienced by marginalized groups across the planet. In this novel book, David Naguib Pellow introduces a new framework for critically analyzing Environmental Justice scholarship and activism. In doing so he extends the field’s focus to topics not usually associated with environmental justice, including the Israel/Palestine conflict and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. In doing so he reveals that ecological violence is first and foremost a form of social violence, driven by and legitimated by social structures and discourses. Those already familiar with the discipline will find themselves invited to think about the subject in a new way. This book will be a vital resource for students, scholars, and policy makers interested in transformative approaches to one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and the planet.

Reports and Plans

Beyond the Land Acknowledgement: College “Land Back” or Free Tuition for Native Students

This policy and practice brief explores the concept of “land back” in higher education. The author explains why land-based reparations–not just land acknowledgements–are necessary, and presents options for institutions.

COVID-19 Responses Could Help Fight Climate Change (World Bank, November 2021)

The World Bank published this report exploring the intersections of resilience, climate change and COVID-19.

Environmental Factsheet (U Michigan)

Defines Environmental Justice and provides data and examples in the sectors of Built Environment, Food, Energy, Materials and Climate as well as provides high level solutions already in action (mainly policy)

Leading with Justice: Net Zero Investing and Conversations on Climate Justice

Roadmaps to net-zero have often been ill-defined and miss the importance of justice in mitigating climate change and reversing the harm it has had on communities, especially communities of color. The Intentional Endowments Network’s Net Zero Endowments Initiative has recognized the tendency to silo these issues and has created a subcommittee that focuses on the intersectionality of climate and racial justice. This paper is a result of that subcommittee’s efforts to explore climate justice and aims to do three things: provide a background and working definition of climate justice; argue that climate justice is central to reaching net-zero goals; and provide practical methods to implementing climate justice. 

Portland Community College’s Climate Action Plan

The college’s five-year roadmap towards climate justice. Unified under a shared vision, PCC’s 2021 Climate Action Plan establishes a new carbon neutrality goal of 2040 and builds off an impressive amount of work done to-date to outline clear pathways for equity-focused climate action to be woven throughout operations, academics, student engagement and future planning.

The Sonoma State University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

The Truckee Meadows Community College Climate Action Plan

The University of Pennsylvania Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0

Speaker Database

People of Color in Environmental & Climate Justice

As a one-stop-site for speakers, consultants, potential hires, board members, advisory group and steering committee members, and more, this website is designed to be the anecdote to the age old lamentation, “But I couldn’t find any people of color.” There are people of color engaging on environmental and climate justice in every state in the union and beyond! If one spends time on this site’s Environmental & Climate Justice Professionals Database, Graphic Notetakers Database, or Anti-Oppression, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professionals Database, one is guaranteed to find someone who can meet whatever need and/or find someone who knows someone who can meet the needs! Please remember, however, that Diversity is Not Enough: And Done Alone, It Can Be Counter Productive and pay heed to the advisories in this article and in the other papers linked within.

Second Nature Speaker List

Second Nature co-created a peer-recommended database of speakers who work on resilience planning, climate justice, and DEIAJ.

Toolkits and Hubs

Accelerating Community-University Partnerships for Climate Justice

The Accelerating University-Community Partnerships for Climate Justice project’s goal is to address the challenges of creating successful partnerships to combat climate and environmental injustices. The project seeks to identify best practices for identifying the community partner’s needs, supplementing their existing work with university resources, and working collectively to advance university-community relationships to mitigate climate injustices.

Arizona State University – Black Ecologies

The Black Ecologies Initiative encompasses various multi-media projects to document, amplify and create alternative cultural resources related to the ecological vulnerability Black communities in the U.S. and around the African Diaspora face. The initiative supports the work of cultural workers, organizers and intellectuals, providing alternative epistemic entryways for historicizing and interrupting the current overlapping ecological, social and political crises.

Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice

The Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University primary mission is education and training, public policy analysis and policy development, and science across multiple disciplines, including environmental science, social and behavioral science, public health, and urban planning, to create systemic change.

Connecting Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) with COVID-19 Dialogues

The University of Illinois Chicago’s Arts-Based Civic Dialogues and Tours Initiative launched the Connecting Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) with COVID-19 dialogues. Participants will discuss the disproportionate impact of environmental racism and systemic inequities on BIPOC communities. By facilitating group discussions through the use of creative tools, students explore the connections between social issues and how their field of study and future careers can advance sustainable environmental practices. Through this dialogue, they also engage in self-reflection and identify how their personal assets and cultural heritage can be harnessed to create community solutions and collective action.

Interactive map of environmental Injustices globally, self described as “a teaching, networking and advocacy resource. Strategists, activist organizers, scholars, and teachers will find many uses for the database, as well as citizens wanting to learn more about the often invisible conflicts taking place.”

Environmental Justice Leadership forum on Climate Change

With a current membership of over 45 organizations, the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change is working to mobilize and facilitate a national working group of environmental justice advocates who will interact with identified scientists/academics and representatives of mainstream environmental groups to catalyze and inform state and federal, political and legislative action that will result in the development of just policies and mechanisms that equitably reduce carbon emissions in all communities.

Existential Toolkit – A Growing Hub of Resources for Climate Justice Educators

The Existential Toolkit is crowdsourced from an international community of scholars, educators, and climate justice leaders focused on addressing the emotional impact of climate disruption.
Justice resource categories include: decolonization & reconciliation, racism, priviledge, & antiracism, and intersectionality

Green 2.0

Green 2.0, described as the watchdogs for inequality in the environmental sector, is an organization that uplifts and shares case studies of successfully incorporated DEI practices while also putting pressure on other organizations to do the same.

Investing in Racial Equity

The Intentional Endowments Network published a series of reports intended to be a catalyst for conversation and action on racial equity for fiduciaries of university endowments and provide a roadmap for endowments at different points in their journey on next steps.

Just Energy: Reducing Pollution, Creating Jobs Toolkit

The NAACP’s Just Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit contains practical, user-friendly guidance on how you can phase out toxic energy – like coal, nuclear, and oil facilities – and bring in clean energy – like wind and solar. Start planning energy justice plans to best fit the needs in your community. This toolkit also works in conjunction with our Just Energy Policies: Model Energy Policies Guide, which has specific information for people wanting to change policy.

Laudato Si’ Project— 7 Goals

A partnership between the Vatican and Catholic organizations across the world, the Laudato Si’ Action Platform is a “journey towards full sustainability in the holistic spirit of integral ecology”, including plans, practical guidances and resources to strengthen community relationships. Within the action platform, there are seven goals/types of organizations, including schools that can embark on a 7 year journey towards integral ecology.

Racial Inequity and Community Engagement Knowledge Hub by Campus Compact

Curated by Clayton Hurd, Campus Compact includes up-to-date reading and resources relevant to racial equity and anti-racism work in higher education community engagement. Resource categories include: articles/books on race, anti-racism, and community engagement, reports, white papers, documents, essays and periodicals, videos/tedtalks, websites and databases, equity analysis resources.

Resource Generation Land Reparations and Indigenous Solidarity Toolkit

A brief guide for Resource Generation members, and others, with access to land to support in education and resource sharing around land reparations.

The Solutions Project

The Solutions Project is an organization that works with frontline communities who are applying for federal grants and funding, helps support their applications, partnerships and communication.

Take Action to Fight Climate Change

Resource from the climate initiative featuring toolkit resources including the En-ROADS climate simulation tool which facilitates learning about the multi-prong solutions needed to solve a complex problem like climate change (interactive).

UConn Environmental Justice Toolkit

The UConn Environmental Justice Toolkit created by students includes climate justice learning resources and action items for Connecticut residents and broader communities.

What Does Climate Justice look like around the world?

The Climate Reality Project provides examples of climate justice based on different issues and geographical regions of the world.

Videos and Webinars

Climate Change as a Human Rights Issue

As the Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Jacqueline Patterson works with community leaders in the United States and around the world to address climate change as a human and civil rights issue. Research demonstrates that climate change does not and will not affect all communities equally. People of color, low income communities, and women are more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Patterson will discuss why climate change is an important human and civil rights issue, and she will explain how the NAACP is working to empower community leaders to address the causes of climate change, rectify its impacts, and advance a global society that fosters sustainable, cooperative, regenerative communities.

Climate Justice Pursuit Sessions

Second Nature’s pursuit sessions including topics like Racial Equity Investing 101, Equity in Practice – Integrating DEI&I from Firm to Portfolio, NAACP & Climate Justice, Browning the Green Space – Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in Practice, Climate, Health, and Justice – Intersectionality in the Built Environment and Lessons Learned in Justice, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Centered Climate Resilience Planning. These all contain practical recommendations for DEIAJ focused action on campuses in various subsectors: investment, curriculum, health, etc.

Environmental Justice in Appalachia

Live Podcast Recording of Environmental Justice in Appalachia with Pam Nixon, Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, and Pumpkin Starr.

FOGO (Fear of Going Outside), Podcast

A hilarious and heartfelt take on race and outdoor access. FOGO: Fear of Going Outside is a nature show — by the most reluctant host ever. Most nature shows are hosted by reckless white men, but avid indoorswoman Ivy Le is an Asian mom with severe allergies. She’s determined to go camping —or die trying.

Just Sustainability, Podcast

Just Sustainability is a podcast that offers you the opportunity to listen to curious conversations exploring the intersection of sustainability, equity, and social justice. Just Sustainability is a resource for folks who are interested in learning and thinking about how equity and environment interact and who want to approach solving environmental problems in ways that are better informed by social justice (or solving social justice problems in ways that are more environmentally conscious).

Racial Equity Investing

The Intentional Endowments Network published a series of webinars intended to be a catalyst for conversation and action on racial equity for fiduciaries of university endowments and provide a roadmap for endowments at different points in their journey on next steps.

Race, Place, & Conversation (with Wild Birds)

Live Podcast Recording of Race, Place, & Conversation with Wild Birds by J. Drew Lanham.

The Six Pillars of Climate Justice

The University of California, Center for Climate Justice supports policies that advocate and plan for a just transition and an equitable and sustainable future. The Center offers a series of webinars, panels, and brainstorming sessions associated with each of the six pillars of climate justice.

Using Your Institutional Power to Achieve Climate Justice

This session equips stakeholders to be able to leverage the full power and assets of higher education institutions to achieve climate justice. The session kicked off with remarks by Dr. Davarian Baldwin, the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies at Trinity College, talking about “The Anti-Racist University: Why Equity and Inclusion Cannot Stop at the Campus Gates,” providing a big picture view of current and historical origins of university power & wealth.


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