David Pellow continues the “Just Environments” series with a critique of prisons as sites of environmental racism and climate change. Facing exposure to contaminated land, water, and toxic substances, prisoners—who are predominantly poor and nonwhite—are subject to increased environmental risks, compounding the vulnerability and marginalization they experience through other social, political, and economic forces. One potential way to highlight these injustices is to collaborate across social movements—for instance, if campaigns directed at environmental and racial justice work together to tackle complex, intersectional issues.
David N. Pellow
David N. Pellow is the Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies and director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches courses on social change movements, environmental justice, human-animal conflicts, sustainability, and social inequality. His teaching and research focus on ecological justice issues in the United States and globally. His books include What Is Critical Environmental Justice? (Polity, 2017); Total Liberation: The Power and Promise of Animal Rights and the Radical Earth Movement (University of Minnesota Press, 2014); The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden (with Lisa Sun-Hee Park; NYU Press, 2011); Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements for Environmental Justice (The MIT Press, 2007); The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy (with Lisa Sun-Hee Park; NYU Press, 2002); and Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago (The MIT Press, 2002). He has served on the boards of directors for Global Response, the Global Action Research Center, the Center for Urban Transformation, the Santa Clara Center for Occupational Safety and Health, Greenpeace USA, and International Rivers.