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UMass Amherst Libraries

Readings & Media on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

A curated bibliography of readings, podcasts, and videos in diversity, equity and inclusion. Feel free to suggest a title to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Getting started

Climate change is a racial justice issue
  • Climate change interacts with and worsens existing inequalities in society that are often shaped by racism.
  • Climate action requires an intersectional approach that takes into account the most impacted communities.
  • Scientists, environmentalists, and racial justice advocates agree that the best way to overcome the climate crisis is by empowering and listening to Indigenous communities. 

Read more in the article Why Is Climate Change a Racial Justice Issue? And continue on with Black Environmentalists You Need to Know. Down below are more articles plus books.

A Brief History of Environmental Justice

16 Essential Books About Environmental Justice, Racism and Activism

The year 2020 has brought some brutal lessons so far, chief among them the fact that systemic racism drives or amplifies nearly all our societal and environmental ills. Now is the time to listen to the people affected most by those problems of environmental justice and racism — and the activists working to solve them. 

Selected titles.
(See Books tab below for more book recommendations)


Climate Change From the Streets by Michael Méndez
Méndez argues that the climate crisis is also a crisis for public health, especially in lower-income communities of color, and that both problems can only be solved by addressing issues of environmental justice. His book — subtitled “How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement” — taps into Méndez’s own research into California communities and grassroots activism to show how the problems that plague us can also bring us together — but only if we invite everyone to the table.


Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders by Angelou Ezeilo
The founder of the Greening Youth Foundation provides a critique of the too-white environmental movement and a toolkit for engaging younger participants from African American, Latinx and Native American communities.


A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind by Harriet A. Washington
This book will open your eyes, make you angry, and then point you toward solutions for ending the plague of pollution-related health problems in marginalized communities of color.


Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It by Jamie Margolin
An essential book by one of the country’s most engaging youth activists. Margolin, a queer Latinx, cofounded Zero Hour and helped energize 2018’s record-breaking Youth Climate March. Now she shares her experience and expertise — along with that of other young activists — and offers advice on everything from organizing peaceful protests to protecting your mental health in a time of crisis. Greta Thunberg provides the foreword.