The movement for environmental justice is founded on a few simple principles. For one, it recognizes that human beings are very much a part of the biosphere, dependent on and impacting (to an unprecedented degree) its ecological processes and systems. It also acknowledges the fact that the repercussions of environmental damage—as well as the benefits that stem from healthy ecosystems and natural resources—are unequal across racial and socioeconomic lines.
It’s all too common that minority, low-income, and other marginalized communities suffer the outsized impacts of environmental decline. For example, 3 out of 5 African Americans live in communities with toxic waste sites. Looking at these fundamental realities head-on and clear-eyed, everything from public health to community vitality can be framed as environmental issues.
Formulated in the 1980s (but with elements dating back to the civil rights movement), the lens of environmental justice has never been higher profile, as the world reckons with a globalized economy, systemic inequities, and the accelerating challenge of climate change.
These are no small challenges. Bottom line: more people need to be aware and get involved. Right now. So how can you? We’ve compiled a list of 10 incredible U.S. nonprofits focused on the profound overlap of environmental and social concerns. Discover how you can get involved—even if that’s through a simple donation—and get started today.