The following resources provide alternative histories to environmental activism in the United States. Chad Montrie’s book details struggles and concerns of early mill workers, fishermen, resource dependent forest communities, and urban dwellers fighting for sanitation. He then moves through the New Deal era and into organized labor, including the United Auto Workers and United Farm Workers movements and shows early manifestations and development of environmental concern and action. Montrie challenges the dominant narrative of elite, white environmentalism by showing a less told story of working class environmentalists and their struggles throughout U.S. history. Dorceta Taylor’s article similarly outlines a different history, including how diverse individuals and groups across race, gender, and class, shaped environmental activism across time. Grassroots to Global provides chapters from a workshop in which academics and diverse practitioners share their experiences and frame them in a broadening of the impacts and contexts in which grassroots activism occurs. Easily accessible chapters showcase different contexts for action, from mining reclamation in Appalachia to “nature cleaners” in Iran.
Krasny, M. (Ed.) (2018). Grassroots to Global: Broader Impacts of Civic Ecology. Cornell University Press.
Montrie, C. (2018). The myth of silent spring: Rethinking the origins of American environmentalism. University of California Press.
Montrie, C. (2011). A People’s History of Environmentalism in the United States. London: Continuum Books. ISBN13: 978-1441198686
Taylor, D. E. (1997). American environmentalism: the role of race, class and gender in shaping activism 1820-1995. Race, Gender & Class, 16-62.
The following resources are a small sample of diverse stories and means through which people have connected with nature, the earth, and environment across cultures, nations, and time periods. The Environmental Justice Reader provides poetry through proclamations that help show diverse perspectives for the environment. The films demonstrate different forms of activism, including the environmental justice and United Farm Worker activism of Dolores Huerta (Dolores), community action to protect water rights and culture in northern New Mexico (Milagro), and the American Indian Movement from its rise in the 1970s to its manifestations for food sovereignty and water protection in South Dakota today (Warrior Women).