New book on Environmental Justice in California

Evolution of a Movement: Four Decades of California Environmental Justice Activism by Tracy E. Perkins

In some views, environmental justice and California might be synonymous. Yet definitions concerning the relationship between the environment and justice have changed over time, as well as the approaches and ideas that activists employ to reach their goals. Tracy E. Perkin's new book, Evolution of a Movement: Four Decades of California Environmental Justice Activism, published by the University of California Press in 2022, offers insight into half of century of the changing conditions of environmental activism.

"Despite living and working in California, one of the county's most environmentally progressive states, environmental justice activists have spent decades fighting for clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and safe, healthy communities. Evolution of a Movement tells their story—from the often-raucous protests of the 1980s and 1990s to activists' growing presence inside the halls of the state capitol in the 2000s and 2010s. Tracy E. Perkins traces how shifting political contexts combined with activists' own efforts to institutionalize their work within nonprofits and state structures. By revealing these struggles and transformations, Perkins offers a new lens for understanding environmental justice activism in California."

Utilizing maps, Perkin's explores the shifting tactics and strategies of movement organizations, as well as changes in understanding and theorizing the variable role of the state to bring about social change.

"At a time when environmental justice scholars and activists face pressing questions about the best route for effecting meaningful change, this book provides insight into the strengths and limitations of social movement institutionalization."

For a sense of what is in the book, here is the table of contents:

Introduction: Environmental Justice Activism Then and Now

1. Emergence of the Disruptive Environmental Justice Movement
2. The Institutionalization of the Environmental Justice Movement
3. Explaining the Changes in Environmental Justice Activism
4. Kettleman City: Case Study of Community Activism in Changing Times
5. California Climate Change Bill AB 32: Case Study of Policy Advocacy
6. Conclusion: Dilemmas of Contemporary Environmental Justice Activism

Here is a link to the University of California Press webpage for the book.