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Environmental Justice

The environmental justice movement is a vibrant and longstanding movement which arose to overcome the racial inequalities that have been a part of U.S. environmentalism. The unequal siting of polluting industries and the marginalization of communities of color in the national environmental agenda gave rise to the EJ movement’s demand for justice. Today, the EJ movement is comprised of activists, community organizers, researchers, and policy advocates who continue to strive to have the U.S. achieve its ideals of justice and democracy.

The foundation of the EJ movement continues to be Indigenous, communities of color and low-income communities — the frontline communities – that are much too often the first to experience environmental harm and the last to experience environmental benefits.



Environmental justice means that all communities have a right to a healthy environment where we live, work and play. In order to reverse the long history of government and industry decision making that has led to environmental racism and inequality, EJ communities must be placed at the center of our environmental agenda.

CEED is committed to bringing justice to sustainability. Toward this end we conduct research and training, policy analysis, and develop community-based toolkits to support communities to achieve environmental justice.


What can this mapping tool show you about environmental health in your community?

Use the EJ Atlas Storyboard above to learn how each layer shows a different side of the Twin Cities, such as where toxins have been found from old or ongoing polluters, what assets like parks and grocers are in each neighborhood, and demographic information.


Layering this information allows you to see disparities in environmental health of each neighborhood in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Once you are familiar with the storyboard you can try out the EJ Mapping Tool for yourself. Zoom in to see what permits to pollute are issued on your own block, or zoom out to compare rates of energy vulnerability from one neighborhood to the next.

The EJ Mapping Tool provides information about sources of pollution in your neighborhood and lets you compare environmental risks across communities based on race and income. This allows you to identify environmental and health dangers you may face, benefits you can access, and how to strengthen your neighborhood for yourself, your family, and your community.