Our commitment to protecting public health by safeguarding clean air and water and expanding access to parks and open spaces for all New Jerseyans is tied to a just and equitable democracy.

Yet, communities of color not only bear the disproportionate burdens of pollution and climate change, but also face the daily threat of unjust harassment, violence, and institutional racism. 

We stand among those calling for justice, accountability, and an end to racial violence. We know that communities of color, Indigenous people, immigrants, and working-class communities have been leading the call for a healthier environment and demanding clean air and clean water. As a white-led organization that benefits from a system of white supremacy, we have an obligation to use our resources to amplify and support their work. 

The environmental advocacy community historically has been predominantly white-led and has served the concerns and needs of white communities. This must change! We ask that those working on environmental issues serving people across the state in amplifying the voices and power of historically disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately impacted by air and water pollution and other environmental hazards, and ensuring that these communities are at the head of the decision-making table.

We also MUST put people over polluters, and that means acknowledging that the environment cannot be separated from a complex, intersectional racist system. Polluters and fossil fuel companies that have profited enormously from damaging our environment and have helped create a system of environmental racism and colonialism by locating polluting facilities predominantly in communities of color. 

The environmental movement has ignored these facts for far too long, and if we continue to ignore them, there will never be a chance for equity. Putting people first also actively dismantling the racist structures that are tearing apart our climate and communities and biosphere, and working with communities that are fighting police brutality, white supremacy, and racial violence. 

Vision Statement for Racial Justice and Equity at New Jersey LCV

Our mission is to work with and support marginalized communities to create policies that rectify environmental injustices, and establish a just, inclusive, and equitable environmental future.

Goals:

  • Ensure NJLCV staff, board members, and endorsees reflect the racial and gender diversity of the state.
  • Ensure our public communications prioritize and bring awareness to environmental injustices, and elevate and amplify communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution and the climate crisis
  • Leverage existing legislative relationships to form new partnerships in communities of color

Racial Justice and Equity Resources

Here are some of the materials we’ve found useful so far. Check back for more resources, as we’ll keep updating this list as we go along!

Websites

Books on Racial Justice

  • A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and its Assault on the American Mind, Harriet A. Washington
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • The Half Has Never Been Told, Edward E. Baptist
  • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, Michael Bennett
  • Give Us the Ballot, Ari Berman
  • Slavery By Another Name, Douglas A. Blackmon
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Black Skin, White Masks, Franz Fanon
  • Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Ways of White Folks, Langston Hughes
  • White Trash, Nancy Isenberg
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi
  • How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
  • An African American and Latinx History of the United States, Paul Ortiz
  • Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, Richard Rodriguez
  • How Race Survived US History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, David Roediger
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson
  • The Rise of the American Conservation Movement, Dorceta Taylor
  • Narrative of Sojourner Truth, Sojourner Truth
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson 
  • Fences, August Wilson
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, Tim Wise
  • The Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter Woodson
  • Native Son, Richard Wright
  • Voices of a People’s History of the United States (and the original, A People’s History), Howard Zinn
  • The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson