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The Climate Reality Project


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Civics, History

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Environmental Justice 101

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  • This article outlines the basics of environmental justice and the history of the environmental justice movement.
  • It introduces readers to Doctor Robert Bullard, the "father of environmental justice."
  • The article links to various external sites, so readers can deepen their understanding of environmental justice.
Teaching Tips


  • This article is very useful in introducing the concept of environmental justice.
  • The language is straightforward and simple.
  • The timeline from 1982-2021 clearly shows the history of environmental justice.
  • The links provided offer students the chance to deepen their knowledge of the environmental justice movement.

Additional Prerequisites 

  • Students will need some understanding of "environmental justice."


  • This source can be used as foundational knowledge before diving deeper into certain case studies of environmental justice like cancer rates in Cancer Alley, Louisiana, or the poisonous water in Flint, Michigan.
  • Students can do further research on the different items on the timeline.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this introductory video about environmental justice and this video from English politician David Lammy about the interconnectedness of racial justice and climate justice.
Scientist Notes
This article simplifies the history and origin of environmental justice and it provides a good foundation for students to learn how to take action to sustain their environment. The resource is a good blend for educators to teach students of this grade to fight environmental racism and sustain planet Earth.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • RH.9-10.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
      • RH.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.13.a: Construct an argument on the effectiveness of environmental movements, their influence on public attitudes, and the efficacy of the government’s environmental protection agencies and laws.
    • World History: Global Studies - Economics, Innovation, and Technology
      • 6.2.12.EconGE.6.a: Evaluate efforts of governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations to address economic imbalances, social inequalities, climate change, health and/or illiteracy.
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