Addressing issues of Equity and Justice in Environmental Social Science

Responding to Intersectional Injustice in the Academy and Beyond

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The (in)Secure Landscapes Lab met to discuss and act upon entrenched systemic racism in the Academy. We started a living document to provide some of the resources we use to learn about anti-racism, as well as goals for promoting anti-racism. This document will be updated.

Last Update: March 2024

Native American House of the University of Illinois Land Acknowledgement Statement:

We would like to begin today by recognizing and acknowledging that we are on the lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.

As a land-grant institution, the University of Illinois has a particular responsibility to acknowledge the peoples of these lands, as well as the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution for the past 150 years. We are also obligated to reflect on and actively address these histories and the role that this university has played in shaping them. This acknowledgement and the centering of Native peoples is a start as we move forward for the next 150 years.

University of Illinois Resources

Campus Belonging Resources. Campus Belonging Resources is designed to focus on behaviors that negatively affect the climate of inclusion and belonging on campus and continue to invest in our education, support and response efforts for individuals impacted by those behaviors.

IL Lab Research Goals:

  • Cite, promote and uplift scholars of color
  • Conduct research that is progressive, personal, and meaningful
  • Advance anti-racist and just scholarship

IL Lab Mentoring Goals:

  • Lab PI strives to promote, advance, and advise Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color in undertaking PhD-level studies.
  • Lab PI strives to promote women generally in undertaking Master’s-level and undergraduate-level studies.
  • Lab PI refuses to colonize student work in which the PI has not contributed substantially through either research or funding.
  • Lab PI commits to promoting and advancing first generation college students.
  • Lab PI strives to recognize power differentials in the mentoring process and work with advisees to advance a peer-mentor relationship that enables aspiring scholars to realize their full potential.
  • Lab PI strives to talk to students frankly about the realities of academia and will work to place students in positions that advance their life and career objectives.

IL Lab Teaching Goals:

  • Build syllabi and course material that reflect a diverse range of voices, highlighting especially the work of BIPOC scholars and women
  • Learn more about and engage in Anti-Racist Instruction
    • Help integrate anti-racist instruction into all department courses
  • Highlight BIPOC history and experience in course material
  • Learn more about and commit to creating a classroom community committed to anti-racism work
  • Model reflexivity
  • Address instructor positionality

What everyone can do in the Short-Term (protests, activities, information):

What everyone can do in the Medium-Term : 

What everyone can do in the Long-Term (structural change):

  • Systematically increase hiring and promotion of Black faculty
  • Create pipelines that will convert diversity postdoctoral fellows into tenure track faculty
  • Modify tenure and promotion decision-making so that the mentorship and service work that faculty of color are disproportionately asked to perform are weighted more heavily
  • Prioritize reviews of manuscripts submitted by BIPOC scholars
  • Dedicate funding to mentorship and support programs for Black undergraduates and graduate students

Educational Resources (films, books):


Nonfiction Books

  • Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto by Cinzia ArruzzaTithi Bhattacharya, and Nancy Fraser.
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall.
  • At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire (nonfiction, historical, theory)
  • Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks (very digestible theory)
  • Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century by Barbara Ransby (nonfiction, historical, theory)
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis
  • Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
  • From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
  • The 1619 Project *Not a Book

Fiction Books

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (fiction)
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (fiction)
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (young adult fiction)
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (fiction)

Documentaries, TV shows, and Movies

  • 13th directed by Ava DuVernay (documentary)
  • Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins (feature film)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk directed by Barry Jenkins (feature film)
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco directed by Joe Talbot (feature film)
  • Paris is Burning directed by Jennie Livingston (documentary)
  • Get Out directed by Jordan Peele (feature film)
  • BlacKKKlansman directed by Spike Lee (feature film)
  • Grown-ish (TV series)
  • When They See Us (TV mini-series)
  • Eyes on the Prize (TV Series)
  • Who Killed Malcolm X? (Netflix docuseries)
  • Minding the Gap directed by Bing Liu (documentary)
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening directed by RaMell Ross (documentary)
  • Strong Island directed by Yance Ford (documentary)


  • White Lies
  • Uncivil
  • Cite Black Women Podcast
  • Media Indigena
  • Code Switch
  • Pod Save the People
  • BIJTG *A podcast made by two black PhDs about their journey through a PhD at a predominately white institution
  • Unfriendly Black Hotties
  • Scene on Radio – Seeing White Series