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A QUEST FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Healthy, High Quality Environments for All Communities

The 2001 interdisciplinary conference was co-sponsored by Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice and Southeastern Connecticut Indoor Air Quality Coalition. Environmental justice deals with the distributional impact of pollution damages. Do communities that host toxic facilities, for example, have a higher percentage of minorities and the poor relative to other communities? The empirical evidence on this issue is mixed. Some studies show that toxic facilities are likely to locate in minority or less affluent communities, while other studies find no statistical difference between the racial composition of communities that house hazardous waste treatment facilities and those that do not.

Conference Proceedings:

Our Backyard Cover Our Backyard: A Quest for Environmental Justice. A collection of essays by local activists and nationally recognized scholars, Our Backyard deals with the history, status, and dilemmas of environmental justice. These essays provide a comprehensive overview of social and political aspects associated with environmental injustices in minority and poor communities. In addition to focusing on the actions taken by communities and politicians in response to an actual or perceived environmental risk, the contributors also deal with the methodological challenges confronting environmental justice research. Published in 2003.Published by:

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200
Lanham, Maryland 20706

About the Editors

Gerald Visgilio, professor of economics at Connecticut College, has spent nearly three decades teaching and working in environmental and natural resource economics. Diana Whitelaw had twenty years of experience with education programs for low income and minority children, their families and communities prior to joining the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment.

Speakers and Panelists

Timothy Black, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Social Research, University of Hartford and John A. Stewart, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology, Research Associate of the Center for Social Research, University of Hartford: Burning and Burying in Connecticut: Are Regional Solutions to Solid Waste Disposal Equitable?

Bunyan Bryant, Ph.D. Chair of Resource Policy and Behavior Concentration, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan: Environmental Justice: History, Issues, and Dilemmas

Pam Davidson, Ph.D. candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst: Risky Business? Relying on Empirical Studies to Assess Environmental Justice

Christopher H. Foreman, Jr. Ph.D. Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland at College Park: The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice

Manuel Lizarralde, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Anthropology/Botany, Connecticut College: Green Imperialism: Indigenous People and Conservation of Natural Environments

Diane-Michele Prindeville, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Government, New Mexico State University: For the People: American Indian and Hispanic Women in New Mexico's Environmental Justice Movement

Virginia Ashby Sharpe, Ph.D. Deputy Director and Associate for Biomedical & Environmental Ethics, The Hastings Center, Garrison, New York: Environmental Justice: Ethics and the Allocation of Environmental Benefits and Burdens

Jace Weaver, Ph.D. Associate Professor of American Studies, Religious Studies and Law, Yale University: Environmental Justice and Native Americans

Harvey L. White, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, PA: Syndrome Behavior and the Politics of Environmental Justice


Estelle Bogdonoff, M.P.H.Co-chair, Southeastern Connecticut Indoor Air Quality Coalition: Coalition Building at the Local Level

Kathy Cooper-McDermott, RN, BSN. Environmental Health Nurse, New London Department of Health and Human Services:
People, Places and Asthma: Its Ecological Imprint in our Midst

Cynthia Jennings,J.D. Board Chairperson, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice: Multi-racial, Cross-cultural Environmental Mobilization: One Person Can Make A Difference

Mark Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H. Director of Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice: Protecting Urban Environments in Connecticut through Community Education and Advocacy

Jacquelyn Pernell, Case Investigator, Department of Environmental Protection: Policy in the State of Connecticut

Kenny Foscue, M.P.H. Division of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health, Connecticut State Department of Public Health: Public Health in Brownfields

James Younger, Director of Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, EPA: Federal Government Laws and Policy