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Zimmerman, Kristen, and Vera Miao. “Fertile Ground: Women Organizing at the Intersection of Environmental Justice and Reproductive Justice,” 2009.


In this report, Vera Miao and Kristen Zimmerman offer an overview of the intersection between environmental and reproductive justice (EJ/RJ), developing a fuller social justice framework.  The authors observed 24 organizations that embrace both environmental and reproductive justice and identified 6 common issues they focused on:  (1) changing environmental policies and practices on toxic chemicals and exposure; (2) articulating rights to clean, safe, and healthy environments; (3) adding gender justice to climate change policy analysis; (4) improving research models and processes; and (5) promoting alternatives that support healing and long-term sustainability. Miao and Zimmerman next identify the projects organizations are undertaking to achieve these objectives. For example, under changing environmental policies and practices on toxic chemicals and exposure, the authors highlight Women’s Voices for the Earth, Montana’s effort have worked to take the phthalates (a known toxin) out of personal care products.  In addition, the article highlights nine ways that EJ/RJ organizing is effective, including that EJ/RJ leaders are able to find solutions in the experience and leadership of impacted communities.  Miao and Zimmerman argue that an EJ/RJ approach is innovative, flexible, resilient, and creates new opportunities for cross-movement alliances. This report is useful for beginners interested in a comprehensive explanation of the ever-growing EJ/RJ coalition-building process. In the appendix, the authors offer an overview of the origins of EJ/RJ work and include definitions of key terms and concepts.    


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Related Topics

Movement building   Coalitions   New to RJ   Intersectionality   Environmental justice