The overall goal of this research inventory is to build relationships between researchers and communities suffering from environmental injustice in the Central Valley of California. General project funding was provided by the UC Davis Environmental Justice Project, the John Muir Institute for the Environment, the Consortium for Women and Research, and the Ford Foundation.
This inventory is currently comprised of two sections.
The first section, the Community Research Inventory, is focused on what the community knows and what the community needs, in terms of research. The community perspectives subsection is based on a series of six focus groups with Central Valley Environmental Justice activists to discuss their research needs.
The second section, Academic Literature Review, is about finding out what is already known, and what gaps exist within environmental justice literature to date. The purpose of the review is to introduce and organize an annotated bibliography that summarizes research on environmental justice, broadly defined, in the Central Valley. Most California EJ research that is published is focused on either Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay Area, leaving the Central Valley somewhat underexplored. This lack of research might mistakenly lead readers to miss the wealth and diversity of environmental justice activism taking place in the valley, such as the Invisible 5.
The EJP is currently comprised of Julie Sze, Project Director; Jonathan London, Senior Researcher; the Faculty Interest Group; and the graduate student community at Davis interested in Environmental Justice. Author bios are available at the People page (see also: EJP: People).
Marisol Cortez was responsible for the research and writing on the community research side, and Alison Alkon was responsible for the annotated bibliography. Maggie La Rochelle was responsible for editing.
This research could not have been conducted without the insight, time, and experiences of all the community members and intermediary organizations who agreed to talk with us. Thank you for sharing your perspectives. We would like to emphasize that this inventory is not meant to be comprehensive, complete or final. Rather, it should be viewed as a building block for further conversation and collaboration.
We envision two audiences for this document. One is activists, both those we’ve worked with and others doing similar work. We hope this bibliography can help activists to access useful and relevant research, and to connect personally with the individuals conducting it. The other audience is researchers and graduate students from many disciplines who want to examine environmental justice in the Central Valley. We hope that the bibliography can provide a summary of relevant work and reveal fertile omissions, thus shaping future research.