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Power of Environmental Justice in Your Classroom
Power of Environmental Justice in Your Classroom
Environmental Justice

Empower the Future: Unleashing the Power of Environmental Justice in Your Classroom


Power of Environmental Justice in Your Classroom
Power of Environmental Justice in Your Classroom | photo courtesy | American Post


Environmental justice is a crucial and engaging topic for students of all ages, emphasizing the right of every individual to live in a healthy and safe environment.

This Environmental Justice in Your Classroom plan aims to equip students with an understanding of environmental justice concepts, causes, consequences, and solutions.

It encourages the active participation and empowerment of communities affected by environmental issues.


Benefits and Burdens of Environmental Decisions

Initiate discussion on the impacts of environmental decisions on different groups.

Explore examples like:

  1. the Flint water crisis
  2. the Dakota Access Pipeline
  3. COVID-19’s disproportionate effects on certain communities.

Discussion Questions:

  • How do environmental decisions impact diverse groups of people?
  • In what ways do these decisions affect health, well-being, and quality of life?
  • How can environmental decisions influence the relationship between humans and nature?

Understanding Environmental Justice

Define environmental justice using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition and the Principles of Environmental Justice from the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.

Discussion Questions

  • What does environmental justice mean to you?
  • Why is environmental justice essential for individuals and the planet?
  • What values and goals are associated with environmental justice?

Environmental Racism

Introduce the concept of environmental racism, showcasing historical and current examples.

Use tools like the Environmental Justice Atlas or the Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool for visualization.

Discussion Questions:

  • What examples of environmental racism have you encountered or learned about?
  • How does environmental racism impact people of color and low-income communities?
  • What are the root causes and drivers of environmental racism?

Communities Fight for Environmental Justice

Explore the activism and resistance strategies communities employ to fight for environmental justice.

Share examples like the Love Canal, the Chipko movement, the Green Belt movement, or the Climate Justice movement.

Discussion Questions:

  • What strategies do communities use to fight for environmental justice?
  • What challenges and barriers do communities face in this fight?
  • How can individuals support and join these environmental justice efforts?

Envisioning Environmental Justice

Encourage students to envision a just and sustainable environment, considering clean air and water, healthy food and soil, renewable energy, diverse ecosystems, and inclusive governance.

Discussion Questions:

  • What does environmental justice look like to you?
  • What benefits and opportunities does it offer to people and the planet?
  • How can individuals contribute to environmental justice in daily life and future careers?


Environmental justice lessons foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and civic engagement.

This lesson plan accommodates various grade levels and subjects, fostering responsible and compassionate citizens capable of making positive changes in the world.

Adapt and modify the plan according to your students’ needs, interests, and backgrounds. Teach environmental justice to inspire informed and active citizens committed to making a positive impact.

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