From the Ground Up : Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/1/2000
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr
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When Bill Clinton signed an Executive Order on Environmental Justice in 1994, the phenomenon of environmental racism--the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards, particularly toxic waste dumps and polluting factories, on people of color and low-income communities--gained unprecedented recognition. Behind the President's signature, however, lies a remarkable tale of grassroots activism and political mobilization. Today, thousands of activists in hundreds of locales are fighting for their children, their communities, their quality of life, and their health.From the Ground Upcritically examines one of the fastest growing social movements in the United States, the movement for environmental justice. Tracing the movement's roots, Luke Cole and Sheila Foster combine long-time activism with powerful storytelling to provide gripping case studies of communities across the U.S--towns like Kettleman City, California; Chester, Pennsylvania; and Dilkon, Arizona--and their struggles against corporate polluters. The authors effectively use social, economic and legal analysis to illustrate the historical and contemporary causes for environmental racism. Environmental justice struggles, they demonstrate, transform individuals, communities, institutions and even the nation as a whole.

Author Biography

Luke W. Cole is Director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation's Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Preface: We Speak for Ourselves: The Struggle of Kettleman City 1(9)
Introduction 10(9)
A History of the Environmental Justice Movement
The Political Economy of Environmental Racism: Chester Residents Concerned for Quality of Life
Environmental Racism: Beyond the Distributive Paradigm
Buttonwillow: Resistance and Disillusion in Rural California
Processes of Struggle: Grassroots Resistance and the Structure of Environmental Decision Making
In Defense of Mother Earth: The Indigenous Environmental Network
Transformative Politics
Appendix 167(18)
Notes 185(46)
Index 231(13)
About the Authors 244

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