Environmental Studies

Racial and Environmental Justice Resources

A collaboration between Outdoor U and Environmental Studies, this page is a compilation of resources intended to aid those who are interested in learning about environmental justice, racial justice, social justice and how they all intersect. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on these issues but are provided as a place to begin learning.


  • Intersectionality" [Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct."
  • EPA Definition of Environmental Justice" Environmental justice is 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."
  • Movement Definition of Environmental Justice"Environmental justice means that all communities have a right to a healthy environment where we live, work and play."
  • Climate Justice: "As a form of environmental justice, climate justice is the fair treatment of all people and the freedom from discrimination in the creation of policies and projects that address climate change as well as the systems that create climate change and perpetuate discrimination."
  • Environmental Racism:  Defined by Reverend Benjamin Chavis, environmental racism is "the intentional selection of communities of color for wastes disposal sites and polluting industrial facilities, essentially condemning them to contamination." 
  • Sovereignty  "Sovereignty is a political concept that refers to dominant power or supreme authority... In modern democracies, sovereign power rests with the people and is exercised through representative bodies such as Congress or Parliament...The term also carries implications of autonomy; to have sovereign power is to be beyond the power of others to interfere."
  •  (video) Dr. Robert Bullard- PBS short, How Environmental Racism Shapes the US

Campus Resources


Both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University occupy the original homelands of the Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. We honor, respect, and acknowledge the Indigenous peoples forcibly removed from this territory, whose connection remains today. Saint Benedict’s Monastery and Saint John’s Abbey previously operated boarding schools for Native children. Now, students, faculty, and staff are working to repair relationships with our Native Nation neighbors.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Derek Larson
Chair, Environmental Studies
SJU Peter Engel 235

Jennifer Kutter
Department Coordinator
SJU Peter Engel 201