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Africana Studies Subject Guide — Environmental Racism

Interdisciplinary guide for Africana/African American Studies

Environmental Racism

This page features a small selection of UConn library and external resources to support learning and research pertaining to EcoRacism. This list is meant to be exploratory and is not a comprehensive representation or list of the library's holdings.

For additional assistance, please contact Stephanie Birch, Research Services Librarian for Africana Studies at

What is Environmental Racism?

EcoRacism (also called environmental racism) refers to the way race and racism cause exposure to environmental dangers. There are many types of environmental dangers, including the pollution of natural resources, exposure to toxins and hazardous materials or waste, as well as poor infrastructure creating barriers to accessing safe and affordable housing, public transportation, employment, grocery stores, education, and medical services.

Screenshot from the Mapping Inequality project at the University of Richmond showing redlining districts in Hartford, Connecticut circa 1940. Districts were assigned a grade based on desirability. Black populations were frequently segregated into areas with D grades (shaded in red on the map), which were considered hazardous -- for mortgage lenders but also to the Black families relegated to these areas. Red-line districts in Hartford were situated in former swampland and near river banks, where single and multi-family dwellings were at risk for flooding. These areas were also in close proximity to industrial plants, exposing residents to waste and pollutants. 

From the UConn Library Collection

Online Resources

Climates of Inequity | A public memory project addressing environmental injustice in over 20 cities across the U.S., partnering with communities on the frontlines who are developing strategies for resistance and resilience.

ENRICH Project | A project examining and addressing the social, environmental, political, and health effects of environmental racism and climate change impacting Indigenous, Black, and other marginalized communities across Canada, utilizing community-based research practices and multi-modal approaches.

Environmental Racism in Greater Boston | A research series from Harvard's research center for environmental health examining environmental racism in Greater Boston. Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate health hazards affecting people and communities of color. The goal of the project is to promote environmental justice in the area.

Redlining and Environmental Racism | University of Michigan blog post by Danielle Vermeer explaining the connections between redlining practices and environmental racism.