Skip to Main Content
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Environmental justice: Getting started

Your guide to books, journals, databases and more on environmental justice, available at the Lloyd Sealy Library.

What is environmental justice?

Child of a migratory farm worker. From the Library of Congress Flickr site.

The term environmental justice was introduced in the 1980s to describe a growing movement that combined both environmental and social justice concerns.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, environmental justice refers to “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” (

Environmental racism is a related term that refers to the disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards that racialized minority groups face.

Although environmental justice is an international issue (e.g. climate justice), this research guide focuses mainly on American environmental justice concerns.

Getting started

For an overview of environmental justice, try searching the following sources:

Encyclopedia of Environment and Society. Robbins, P. (2007).

An electronic encyclopedia. Click on the link provided or the image to the left, then enter search terms in the search box provided. Use terms such as “environmental racism”, "environmental justice" and equity to find relevant encyclopedia articles.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Provides access to the full text of electronic encyclopedia articles, dictionaries and more. Click on the link above and enter your search terms such as “environmental justice” and “environmental racism”.  You can also type your search terms in the box below.

Sage e-Reference Collection A collection of over 70 subject encyclopedias, including major titles in criminal justice, research methods, psychology, and social issues from Sage publishers. Enter your keyword search terms in the basic search box, below.


Environmental justice in the news

Environmental justice in the headlines

Loading ...