×
Skip to main content

Environmental Justice

Loyola’s sustainability initiatives are anchored in our commitment to social justice.

As recognized in our 2015 Climate Action Plan, the impacts of unsustainable actions are felt, inequitably, by vulnerable and marginalized people, especially the global south, and black and brown communities in the United States. The Chicagoland area is home to a history of these injustices as well as leading organizations working to redress this legacy.

Loyola works to mitigate our own contributions to climate change and seek further regenerative and equitable solutions to past harms. Our work on racial justice and land acknowledgment are part of our institutional process, called out in our Strategic Plan, and we seek to engage our community, especially our students, in this work.

Some examples of this work can be found here:

The air we breathe - Researchers at Loyola investigate the stark difference in air quality on Chicago's South and North Sides

Where you live - The color of your skin shouldn't determine how clean your environment is, but it often does, explains Loyola Expert Tania Schusler

Correcting the record - With so much climate misinformation circulating, how can you separate fact from fiction? 

Walk softly - Loyola alums running a farm and retreat center in West Virginia live in harmony with the earth - and their community

Through the Loyola Lens - Savannah Webb ('16) worked at the Global Gardens Refugee Training Farm on Chicago's NW Side which help provide new refugees access to farm land and fresh produce

Unequal Impact: Environmental Racism and Faith Based Resources in Restorative Justice - a panel discussion from the 2022 Climate Change Conference hosted by Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability and Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage

Environmental Justice Work on the Southside of Chicago - a panel discussion from the 2022 Climate Change Conference hosted by Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability and Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL)

 

Centers that are leading Loyola’s efforts on Environmental Justice include:

  • Center for Urban Research and Learning
  • Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Mission Integration
  • Community Service and Action
  • Center for the Human Rights of Children
  • Civitas ChildLaw Center
  • Hank Center on Catholic Intellectual Heritage

 

Environmental justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” (EPA)

Communities of color and low-income communities experience disproportionate impacts of pollution and environmental degradation. For example, 68% of Black Americans live within 30 miles of coal fired power plants, putting them at higher risk for respiratory illnesses, asthma, and premature death.

 

Community and nonprofit organizations leading the way in addressing these issues and finding new paths of just sustainability:

Chicago Environmental Justice Network - The Chicago Environmental Justice Network (CEJN) is a coalition bringing together BIPOC-led, neighborhood-based, grassroots environmental justice organizations working throughout the Chicago metropolitan area in frontline communities.

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) - After twenty years working for environmental justice in Little Village, LVEJO continues to organize for a healthier community in Little Village and beyond.

Equiticity - Equiticity is a racial equity movement. We move through time and space, programming and advocating for racial equity, increased mobility and racial justice to make lives better for Black, Brown and Indigenous people of color across the United States.

Environmentalists of Color - Environmentalists of Color is a Chicago-based member driven catalyst for racial equity in the environmental field addressing the current and historical exclusion of BIPOC folks. We hold a safe space to amplify, connect and support members in this network to be leaders and thrive in this field.

Elevated Chicago – Elevated Chicago is a multi-sector collaborative that promotes more equitable development of public spaces, buildings and vacant land around Chicago’s public transit infrastructure.

Blacks in Green - Blacks In Green (BIG™) serves as a bridge and catalyst among communities and their stakeholders in the design and development of green, self-sustaining, mixed-income, walkable villages in communities owned and populated by African Americans.

Elevate – Elevate seeks to create a just and equitable world in which everyone has clean and affordable heat, power, and water in their homes and communities — no matter who they are or where they live.

Center for Neighborhood Technology - CNT is committed to improving cities’ economic and environmental sustainability, resilience, and quality of life.

Southeast Environmental Task Force - SETF is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the southeast side and south suburbs of Chicago by promoting environmental education, pollution prevention, and sustainable development.

Chicago Wilderness Equity Resources - At Chicago Wilderness, our collective goals and action plans to preserve and protect nature can only happen if people of all backgrounds and races have an equal opportunity to experience and access the outdoors, parks and open spaces safely and without barriers. 

 

National organizations

NAACP Environment and Climate Justice

Green 2.0

EPA’s Environmental Justice page

Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program

NRDC Environmental Justice Movement

 

Environmental Justice Resources

Case Studies:

Altgeld Gardens, Chicago, IL – Environmental Justice in Chicago (NRDC)

Waukegan, IL -   Residents fight for economic and environmental justice (Grist)

Flint, MI – Report of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission

Dakota Access Pipeline – Standing Rock Sioux tribe (Time Magazine)

Louisiana’s Cancer Alley – YouTube Video (Al Jazeera Media)

Global Atlas of Environmental Justice – EJ Atlas

What is Climate Justice? Yale Climate Connections

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources for the Higher Education Sustainability Community - AASHE

US Conference of Catholic Bishops – Environmental Justice Program

Ignatian Solidarity Network – Environmental Justice Action Priorities

 

Mapping Tools:

Environmental Justice Self-Study Guide (Washington University in St. Louis)

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool – US Government

EJScreen: Environmental Justice and Screening Tool – US EPA

Native Land Interactive Map – Native Land Digital

Justice40 is a Whole-of-Government initiative with the goal of 40% of overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

Loyola’s sustainability initiatives are anchored in our commitment to social justice.

As recognized in our 2015 Climate Action Plan, the impacts of unsustainable actions are felt, inequitably, by vulnerable and marginalized people, especially the global south, and black and brown communities in the United States. The Chicagoland area is home to a history of these injustices as well as leading organizations working to redress this legacy.

Loyola works to mitigate our own contributions to climate change and seek further regenerative and equitable solutions to past harms. Our work on racial justice and land acknowledgment are part of our institutional process, called out in our Strategic Plan, and we seek to engage our community, especially our students, in this work.

Some examples of this work can be found here:

The air we breathe - Researchers at Loyola investigate the stark difference in air quality on Chicago's South and North Sides

Where you live - The color of your skin shouldn't determine how clean your environment is, but it often does, explains Loyola Expert Tania Schusler

Correcting the record - With so much climate misinformation circulating, how can you separate fact from fiction? 

Walk softly - Loyola alums running a farm and retreat center in West Virginia live in harmony with the earth - and their community

Through the Loyola Lens - Savannah Webb ('16) worked at the Global Gardens Refugee Training Farm on Chicago's NW Side which help provide new refugees access to farm land and fresh produce

Unequal Impact: Environmental Racism and Faith Based Resources in Restorative Justice - a panel discussion from the 2022 Climate Change Conference hosted by Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability and Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage

Environmental Justice Work on the Southside of Chicago - a panel discussion from the 2022 Climate Change Conference hosted by Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability and Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL)

 

Centers that are leading Loyola’s efforts on Environmental Justice include:

  • Center for Urban Research and Learning
  • Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Mission Integration
  • Community Service and Action
  • Center for the Human Rights of Children
  • Civitas ChildLaw Center
  • Hank Center on Catholic Intellectual Heritage

 

Environmental justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” (EPA)

Communities of color and low-income communities experience disproportionate impacts of pollution and environmental degradation. For example, 68% of Black Americans live within 30 miles of coal fired power plants, putting them at higher risk for respiratory illnesses, asthma, and premature death.

 

Community and nonprofit organizations leading the way in addressing these issues and finding new paths of just sustainability:

Chicago Environmental Justice Network - The Chicago Environmental Justice Network (CEJN) is a coalition bringing together BIPOC-led, neighborhood-based, grassroots environmental justice organizations working throughout the Chicago metropolitan area in frontline communities.

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) - After twenty years working for environmental justice in Little Village, LVEJO continues to organize for a healthier community in Little Village and beyond.

Equiticity - Equiticity is a racial equity movement. We move through time and space, programming and advocating for racial equity, increased mobility and racial justice to make lives better for Black, Brown and Indigenous people of color across the United States.

Environmentalists of Color - Environmentalists of Color is a Chicago-based member driven catalyst for racial equity in the environmental field addressing the current and historical exclusion of BIPOC folks. We hold a safe space to amplify, connect and support members in this network to be leaders and thrive in this field.

Elevated Chicago – Elevated Chicago is a multi-sector collaborative that promotes more equitable development of public spaces, buildings and vacant land around Chicago’s public transit infrastructure.

Blacks in Green - Blacks In Green (BIG™) serves as a bridge and catalyst among communities and their stakeholders in the design and development of green, self-sustaining, mixed-income, walkable villages in communities owned and populated by African Americans.

Elevate – Elevate seeks to create a just and equitable world in which everyone has clean and affordable heat, power, and water in their homes and communities — no matter who they are or where they live.

Center for Neighborhood Technology - CNT is committed to improving cities’ economic and environmental sustainability, resilience, and quality of life.

Southeast Environmental Task Force - SETF is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the southeast side and south suburbs of Chicago by promoting environmental education, pollution prevention, and sustainable development.

Chicago Wilderness Equity Resources - At Chicago Wilderness, our collective goals and action plans to preserve and protect nature can only happen if people of all backgrounds and races have an equal opportunity to experience and access the outdoors, parks and open spaces safely and without barriers. 

 

National organizations

NAACP Environment and Climate Justice

Green 2.0

EPA’s Environmental Justice page

Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program

NRDC Environmental Justice Movement

 

Environmental Justice Resources

Case Studies:

Altgeld Gardens, Chicago, IL – Environmental Justice in Chicago (NRDC)

Waukegan, IL -   Residents fight for economic and environmental justice (Grist)

Flint, MI – Report of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission

Dakota Access Pipeline – Standing Rock Sioux tribe (Time Magazine)

Louisiana’s Cancer Alley – YouTube Video (Al Jazeera Media)

Global Atlas of Environmental Justice – EJ Atlas

What is Climate Justice? Yale Climate Connections

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources for the Higher Education Sustainability Community - AASHE

US Conference of Catholic Bishops – Environmental Justice Program

Ignatian Solidarity Network – Environmental Justice Action Priorities

 

Mapping Tools:

Environmental Justice Self-Study Guide (Washington University in St. Louis)

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool – US Government

EJScreen: Environmental Justice and Screening Tool – US EPA

Native Land Interactive Map – Native Land Digital

Justice40 is a Whole-of-Government initiative with the goal of 40% of overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.