Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"

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Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
Environmental Racism: an ecumenical study guide

This is the brief report format.
More detailed reports are also available for this title.

Short Description:   A four session ecumenical study guide that explores environmental racism: environmental hazards affecting people of color and underprivileged. Goal of guide is to study the spread of environmental privilege and the elimination (or fair distribution of ) environmental harms. Can be used for an evening discussion group or for individual reflection.
Long Description:   The 1987 UCC Commission on Racial Justice reported that race, more than class, was shown to be a determining factor where hazardous, toxic sites would be built and maintained. Communities of color receive slower, less effective response from regulatory agencies while companies caught polluting these communities have fewer penalties and cheaper fines than their counterparts in white neighborhoods. People of color face worse health burdens because of environmental pollution and have less access to health care, information, means of participation and economic and political influence in the processes of environmental decisions, laws, and policies. These realities led to the coining of the phrase “environmental racism.”

Variances in definition and a diversity of voices are key to fully understanding the complexities and layers of environmental injustice. Therefore, this resource does not create one definition of environmental racism or environmental justice. It instead offers a collection of definitions, through which a fuller understanding can be drawn.

The Introduction reviews Principles of Environmental Justice and read the voices of a gathered community of people of color who have first hand experience of environmental racism.

The Historical Overview gives a brief history of the movement, defines key terms, and gives modern examples of environmental racism and injustice.

The Theological Reflections section is intended as a guide for those individuals and groups who wish really to study—to reflect on, pray over, act on, and incorporate into faith—concerns of environmental justice. This guide can be used to conduct a four-week study series for an adult education hour, for an evening discussion group, or for individual reflection.

In studying the resource packet in the context of prayer, scripture, and reflection/action, it is hoped that your experience with the written materials in sections 1-4 will be a more meditative, reflective, and insightful time. You are then encouraged to choose at least one suggestion in the “Action Steps” section that you/your group can follow.

Session 1: Introduction
Session 2: Defining Environmental Racism and Justice
Session 3: Historical Overview
Session 4: Biblical and Theological Reflections

The Action Steps section provides Steps Toward Education and Steps Toward Advocacy

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Rebecca Barnes-Davies
Publisher:   Eco-Justice Working Group of NCC
Publication date:   circa 2005 Website for this resource:

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool    Primary    Jr. High    Sr. High     Adult
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 4 class sessions each lasting about 1 to 1.5 hours
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content

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Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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