What are Environmental Justice and Restorative Practices
We like the definition of environmental justice written by Dr. Bunyan Bryant, who is a Flint native and one of the founders of the environmental justice field, because it helps people see what an environmentally just world would look like:
“Environmental justice (EJ) refers to those cultural norms and values, rules, regulations, behaviors, policies, and decisions that support sustainable development, so that people can interact with confidence that their environment is safe, nurturing and productive.
EJ is served when people can realize their highest potential, without experiencing “isms.”
EJ is supported by decent paying and safe jobs; quality schools and recreation; decent housing and adequate health-care; democratic decision-making and personal empowerment; and communities free of violence, drugs, and poverty. EJ communities are where both cultural and biological diversity are respected and highly revered distributive justice prevails.”
Here are a couple short, well-crafted videos about environmental justice and a foundational report about environmental justice across the U.S.
Environmental justice, explained (video by Grist)
A Brief History of Environmental Justice (video by ProPublica)
Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007 (report by Bullard, Mohai, Saha & Wright)
Restorative practices are ways of relating to and working with others to build strong relationships that are necessary for achieving environmental, social and economic justice. For a basic understanding, we recommend:
Defining Restorative by Ted Wachtel, Founder of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), summarizes key RP concepts.
What is Restorative Practices? (video by IIRP)