Readings and Discussions on Environment Justice

Taught by Professor Giovanna Di Chiro and her students.  Professor Di Chiro is visiting Lang Professor for Issues of Social Change at Swarthmore College where she teaches courses in environmental studies with a focus on social justice and community engagement.

7:00 - 9:00 Thursdays at Congregation Beth Israel of Media

March 20 A History and Overview of the Environmental Justice Movement. We will look at some of the key ideas and historical events that gave rise to the Environmental Justice movement in the US and beyond.

April 3 Waste Not: A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Waste Stream. Focusing on a case study of Chester, PA, a local “environmental justice community”, we will look closely at some of the ecological, social, and moral implications of our waste management system.

April 17 Want Not: Re-thinking Waste and Practicing Sustainability. We use the socially-critical lens of environ- mental justice to explore alternatives to current waste management policy, including the initiative known as “zero waste” practiced in many communities nationwide. 


Readings for the classes are below:


Alex Vuocolo, “Long Choked by Waste Plants, a Former Shipping City Tries Clearing the Air,” Next American City, August 19, 2012

EPA Video on Chester, PA, August 2012

Chester Green Blogspot

Luke Cole and Sheila Foster, “The Political Economy of Environmental Racism,” In, From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement (New York: NYU Press, 2001).

Maryanne Vollers, “Everyone Has Got to Breathe,” Audubon Magazine, March-April 1995.


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