BIBLIOGRAPHIES for Inclusive Environmental Identities

Alternative Histories and Stories

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).

TEXTS

Ammons, E., & Roy, M. (2015). Sharing the Earth: An International Environmental Justice Reader. University of Georgia Press.

Glave, D. (2010). Rooted in the earth: reclaiming the African American environmental heritage. Chicago, IL: Lawrence Hill Books.

FILMS

Bratt, P. (Producer), Bratt, P. & Congdon, J. (Writers). (2017). Dolores. [Documentary]. Five Stick Films.

Esparza, M. (Producer), Redford, R. (Director), Nichols, J. & Ward, D.S. (Screenplay). (1988). The Milagro Beanfield War. [Motion Picture]. Universal Pictures.

King, C. D. & Castle, E.A. (Director & Producer), Pitman, A.M. (Producer). (2018) Warrior Women [Documentary]. Castle King, LLC.  

SURVEYS

The following surveys can be useful for introducing discussions of diversity within the environmental movement. Taylor demonstrates that mainstream environmental organizations in the United States continue to be dominated by white people, despite many organizations’ stated commitment to diversity. Jones et. al. examine the intersection of environmental values and religious beliefs among Americans. A striking finding – on p. 15 of the report – is that Hispanic Catholics are the most likely of any religious group to express concern about climate change. Black Protestants are more likely to be concerned than white, Mainline Protestants or white evangelicals.  

Jones, Robert P., Daniel Cox, and Juhem Navarro-Rivera. Believers, Sympathizers, and Skeptics: Why Americans Are Conflicted About Climate Change, Environmental Policy, and Science; Findings from the Prri/Aar Religion, Values, and Climate Change Survey.  Washington,  DC: Public Religion Research Institute/ American Academy of Religion, 2014. 

 Taylor, Dorceta E. “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Mainstream Ngos, Foundations, Government Agencies.” Green 2.0, 2014.  

LANTINX ENVIRONMENTALISM

The following resources focus on environmentalism from the perspective of Latinx communities in the United States. Priscilla Ybarra’s book identifies a form of decolonial environmentalism, which she calls “goodlife writing,” that is prevalent in 150 years Mexican-American literature. Carter draws on ethnographic research among Latinx communities in Los Angeles to argue that a new form of environmental justice has emerged in recent years. Naiman et.al. examine barriers that have prevented Latinx communities from participating in mainstream environmental organizations, and outreach strategies those organizations might employ  to improve their diversity efforts. Fingal offers a history of environmentalism as told from the perspective of Latinx communities. 

Carter, Eric D. “Environmental Justice 2.0: New Latino Environmentalism in Los Angeles.” Local Environment 21, no. 1 (2016): 3-23.

Fingal, Sara C. “Latinx Environmentalism.” Oxford Research Encyclopedias, American History. Oxford University Press, 2019. 

Naiman, Sarah M., Tania M. Schusler, and Jonathon P. Schuldt. “Environmental Engagement among Latinos: An Exploratory Study of Environmentalists in the Greater Chicago Area.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (August 03 2018).

Ybarra, Priscilla Solis. Writing the Goodlife: Mexican American Literature and the Environment. Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press, 2016.

Wald, Sarah D., David J. Vazquez, Priscialla Solis Ybarra, and Sarah Jaquette Ray, eds. Latinx Environmentalisms: Place, Justice, and the Decolonial. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2019.

Religion, Environment, and the African American Church

The following resources discuss the intersection of religion and environmental values among African Americans. Baugh offers ethnographic analysis of religious environmental activism at an interfaith environmental organization in Chicago, focusing especially on the complex factors that motivated African American Protestants to “go green.” Carter examines the reluctance of African Americans to participate in mainstream environmentalism. One important factor shaping their low involvement, he argues, is that concepts of nature and environmentalism have been framed through the lenses of whiteness and white supremacy, an ideology supported by Christian theological anthropology. Carter suggests that cultivating a more inclusive environmental movement requires new definitions of what it means to be human. Clay offers a different framework for understanding environmental values among African Americans, discussing backyard gardens as sacred spaces that affirm a long-standing ecological heritage. 

Baugh, Amanda. God and the Green Divide: Religious Environmentalism in Black and White.  Oakland: The University of California Press, 2016.

Carter, Christopher. “Blood in the Soil: The Racial, Racist, and Religious Dimensions of Environmentalism.” In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Nature: The Elements, edited by Laura Hobgood and Whitney Bauman, 45-62. New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.

Clay, Elonda. “Backyard Gardens as Sacred Spaces: An Ecowomanist Spiritual Ecology.” In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Nature: The Elements, edited by Laura Hobgood and Whitney Bauman, 11-24. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

Children, Youth, and the Environment

The following resources provide diverse perspectives about how children and youth experience the environment, and successful methods for engaging exploration of their environments. These readings will be useful for courses in environmental education and critical geography, and for bringing diverse perspectives to urban planning. Narratives  and analyses from Children, Nature, Cities are important in sharing that “nature” and “environment” are experienced differently by different groups and yet still can have profound impacts in shaping how they perceive, live in, or shape their present or future actions. Readings from EE in Latino Communities is important in providing ways to contextualize and develop environmental education that is culturally resonant.

Murnaghan, A. F., & Shillington, L. J. (Eds.), Children, Nature, Cities. Routledge Press. Available from: 

Del Campo, M. L., Purcell, K. A., & Marcos-Iga, J. (Eds.). (n.d.). Environmental Education in Latino Communities: Sharing Experiences. Washington, D.C.: North American Association for Environmental Education. Available from: 

Naiman, S. (n.d.) Nuestra Vida: Significant Life Experiences in Latino Environmental Education. M.L. Del Campo, K.A. Purcell, & J. Marcos-Iga (Eds.), Environmental Education in Latino Communities: Sharing Experiences. Washington, D.C.: North American Association for Environmental Education. Available from: