Skip to main content
EJI Banner V2

Racial and Environmental Justice

  • Racial and Environmental Justice

  • We offer these statements about the connections between environmental and racial justice to guide our own actions, and as teaching and action resources for others.


 

  • Standing Up for Racial and Environmental Justice for Asian-Americans

    Santa Clara University’s Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative supports faculty, students, and community partners to understand and combat environmental injustices, such as the uneven distribution of pollution and the lack of access to clean air, water, and food. We understand these environmental injustices as stemming in large part from structural and institutionalized racism, economic exploitation, and our individual biases and actions. These forces manifest in chronic violence, such as the contamination of people and communities of color and low income, and in acute violence, such as industrial disasters, genocides, and displacements of people from their land and homes, as well as racially motivated attacks.

    At this time of growing harassment and assaults against Asian-Americans, we condemn the history and ongoing legacy of violence against Asian-Americans in the U.S., and commit ourselves to work with and support Asian-American scholars, students, and communities to resist this violence.

    We call on ourselves and commit to support others to take the following steps to stand up for racial and environmental justice for Asian-Americans now.

    1) Learn about the history of violence and environmental injustices faced by Asian-Americans, including disproportionate exposure to carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants, and unsafe working conditions for Asian immigrants and migrants in farm work, and industries such as textiles and apparel, restaurants, nail salons, electronics, and electronic waste. Study Asian-Americans’ contributions to the environmental justice movement, including groundbreaking organizing by Filipino-American farmworkers and the pioneering activism of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN).  

    2) Support racial and environmental justice by donating to organizations led by Asian-Americans that engage in community organizing and policy advocacy for environmental justice, such as APEN, Chinese Progressive Association, Pilipino Workers Center, Little Manila Rising, and Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice.  Support organizations that build AAPI political power, especially grassroots community-based organizations listed at the AAPI FORCE-EF network, AAPI Movement Hub, and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. Support advocacy organizations that are part of Asian-Americans Advancing Justice, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality.  Consider additional donations to national organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate, Hate is a Virus, as well as AAPI Women Lead’s #ImReady Movement to challenge and help end the intersections of violence against and within Asian-American communities. 

    3) Actively engage with practicing antiracism against individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism.  Respect the diversity of Asian-Americans’ identities, experiences, and histories.  Reject the model minority myth about Asian-Americans, which seeks to divide people of color, and the silent minority myth, which suggests Asian-Americans do not or should not call attention to anti-Asian oppression or engage in politics. Engage in racial and environmental justice organizing in ways that foreground and respect leadership by Asian-Americans and other people of color: join and follow the lead of organizations like those listed above, sign their petitions, and circulate their calls for justice to our networks.  Vote and campaign for elected officials who promise to enact transformative policies for racial and environmental justice.  Reshape our work to address environmental justice issues or prioritize them in our research agendas.  

    To carry out these plans, we commit to:

    1) Engage colleagues, friends, and others from the faculty, student body, administration, and communities in meetings and events to discuss and learn from each other about environmental and racial justice issues, so that we can gain a deeper understanding of the linkages and strengthen multiracial solidarity to address these issues more effectively. 

    2) Support and collaborate with communities of color, including Asian-American communities in Northern California, on the environmental justice challenges they face.

    3) Recruit and welcome more faculty members, staff, and students of color to participate fully in our work, and take responsibility for attracting the resources and creating an environment to support their participation.

    Posted: April, 2021


 

  • Standing Up for Racial and Environmental Justice for Black Americans

    As members of the Santa Clara University Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative, we study how structural and institutionalized racism and violence have greatly harmed Black and brown communities, including through environmental injustices such as the uneven distribution of pollution and the lack of access to clean air, water, and food. We have learned much and have much yet to learn from the groundbreaking work of Black scholars of environmental and climate justice. As we continue to expand and deepen our understanding of environmental justice and its relationship to racial justice, we seek to work with and support others, especially African American and other communities of color, scholars, and other colleagues on these issues. 

    We call on ourselves and commit to support others to take the following steps to stand up for racial and environmental justice now.

    1) Learn about research and policies for stopping police violence and other forms of racism against communities of color. Study the history of resistance to the long-term, systemic harm of environmental racism and injustice. Learn about the global violence of climate change, and brown and Black activists’ and scholars’ work in the climate justice movement in the United States and around the world. Learn why racial justice is linked to environmental justice in policy statements such as the Platform for Black Lives and the Just Transitions Principles. Educate ourselves about state and local environmental justice policy advocacy.

    2) Support racial justice by donating to organizations led by people of color that engage in organizing and policy advocacy against structural racial violence, such as the Movement4Black Lives, local Black Lives Matter chapters, Say Her Name, Critical Resistance, 8 To Abolition, and the Black Youth Project 100Support people of color-led environmental justice organizations, such as the Climate Justice Alliance and the California Environmental Justice Alliance. Find and support local racial and environmental justice organizations in our area.  If we donate to mainstream environmental organizations or causes, earmark our financial support for environmental justice issues.

    3) Actively engage with practicing antiracism against individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism, including in academia. Engage in racial and environmental justice organizing in ways that foreground and respect leadership by people of color: join and follow the lead of organizations like those listed above, sign their petitions, and circulate their calls for justice to our networks.  White allies can join organizations such as Showing Up for Racial Justice, which has many local chapters that hold themselves accountable to black and brown leaders, while turning out support to end white silence on racial injustice.   Support a free and fair electoral process, and vote and campaign for elected officials who promise to enact transformative policies for racial and environmental justice.  Reshape our work to address environmental justice issues or prioritize them in our research agendas.  

    To carry out these plans, we commit to:

    1) Engage colleagues, friends, and others from the faculty, student body, administration, and communities in meetings and events to discuss and learn about environmental and racial justice issues from each other, so that we can gain a deeper understanding of the linkages and become more effective in addressing them. 

    2) Support and collaborate with communities of color, especially African American communities in Northern California, on the environmental justice challenges they face.

    3) Recruit and welcome more faculty members and staff of color to participate fully in our work, and take responsibility for attracting the resources and creating an environment to support their participation.

    Posted: June 2020