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Deadline for Manuscript Submission:
March 31, 2022


Call for Papers

30th Anniversary of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit

Guest Editors:

Peggy M. Shepard
WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Executive Director
New York, New York

Crystal Romeo Upperman, PhD, MPA
Aclima, Inc., Senior Scientist
San Francisco, California


Submission Deadline: All manuscripts should be submitted for consideration by March 31, 2022.

The 21st century environmental justice movement will look very different from its 20th century progenitor. Much has changed in the way our world communicates, mobilizes, and governs. This special issue of Environmental Justice will capture the history of environmental justice across the United States, showcasing how the movement has evolved. Moreover, the issue will chart a wireframe of the future of environmental justice in its domestic home of the United States and its international propagation globally.

The First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, in 1991, where the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice were developed and ratified, propelled the environmental justice movement beyond its antecedent focus to include issues of environmental/public health, worker safety, land use, transportation, housing, resource allocation, and community organizing, base building and enfranchisement. The convening also demonstrated the possibility of building a multiracial grassroots movement around environmental and economic justice, which led to the principles of environmental justice, regional and identity-based networks, academic careers and majors, impact on the EPA, state and city regulations, and advisory boards.

This special issue will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. It will explore the following key questions:

  • What is the history of the environmental justice movement from 1991 to 2020, and how has the movement evolved across the regions of the United States?
  • What is the shared vision of environmental justice that can help create action toward curbing environmental externalities and climate impacts for highly burdened communities?
  • Can the international adoption of the tenets of environmental justice advance and lessen the Global North and Global South divide in addressing climate change?
  • What resources, tools, technologies, and new policies are essential to catalyze the environmental justice movement of the 21st century with the rapid adoption of renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuels?
  • What is the role of funders (foundations and government) and researchers within and adjacent to the environmental justice movement?

All manuscripts should be submitted online by March 31, 2022. All submissions will be subject to a rigorous peer review. We are interested in original research, articles, editorials, policy briefs, legal analyses, reviews, history essays, perspectives, tools for education, empowerment and action, and methodology papers on these topics and others from diverse stakeholders representing all sectors (environmental justice organizations, academia, government, nonprofit, community, private sector, etc.).

Topics may revisit the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice, discuss their application and propose new principles; discuss how they have been used, how to better actualize them, and how they can be integrated into the manner in which agencies and organizations operationalize environmental justice work.

Suggested topic areas may also include, among others:

  • Yesterday, today, and tomorrow: keys that led to the successes of the past and ways to elevate community engagement and mobilization for the future.
  • The role of technology and geospatial tools in bolstering government decision-making toward the attainment of environmental parity.
  • Environmental justice to locally led action: ways in which grassroots organizations in the Global South can move the needle on systemic issues tied to the vestiges of colonization.
  • Building an environmental justice movement that is reflective of shared principles in a global society.  
  • Meaningful and authentic environmental justice engagement for sectors that have yet to engage or are looking to reverse historical aggression toward grassroots organizations.
  • Regenerative environmental justice movements: leadership expansion and transition for successful intergenerational organizing.
  • Science to support environmental justice: filling the gaps necessary to make the case for causality and support bold policy actions.
  • Gaps in the law: how jurisprudence and hearty environmental regulation can continue to embrace a connection with environmental ethics and social justice.

Visit Environmental Justice to learn more, read past issues, and view author submission guidelines.

Queries to the editor to propose a topic prior to submission are encouraged. Please contact Peggy Shepard and Dr. Crystal Romeo Upperman to initiate your query or for any further details.


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Deadline for Manuscript Submission:
March 31, 2022