The struggle for environmental justice in California began decades ago and continues today. Environmental justice results from community level actions that build power and models; influence the political process and secure unprecedented legislation; and implement cutting-edge programs. Progress has not been easy. Many challenges had to be overcome, and political opposition has been consistent. The resources described in this compilation are the result of leadership from many communities, sometimes in collaboration with public agencies and sometimes in tension. There have been some significant successes at the local, regional and state-wide levels. However, much more is needed to address the many challenges related to environmental injustice and the climate crisis if we are to build truly equitable, healthy and sustainable communities for the 21st century.
This compilation of resources describes the unprecedented body of work to advance environmental justice (EJ) in California. Organizers of the 2018 American Public Health Association (APHA) EJ Town Hall in San Diego, California, developed these resources initially as a series of blog posts to engage participants in building on California’s progress in EJ at the state level.
Environmental justice is more important now than ever, and we hope these resources – now reformatted to be more web accessible – continue to engage community, academic, and government practitioners across the United States on ways to advance EJ and public health.