Project Director & Editor:
Web Editor and Designer:
Christine Joy Ferrer
RP&E is an essential tool for research in environmental justice history and a window into the future for progressive organizers nationwide. Annual subscriptions are available for $45 for individuals and $90 for institutions. An archive of Race, Poverty & the Environment back issues from 1990-present is available online, in print and on a CD.
Current Submission Guidelines
The print journal and its web edition intend to continue this tradition and invite you to send letters to the editor or articles for consideration for print and web to: reimaginerpe [at] gmail.com or by postal mail to,
436 14th St. #500
Oakland, CA 94612
For over 25 years, the national journal Race, Poverty & the Environment (RP&E) has helped build the social and environmental justice movements, serving as an essential tool for research in environmental justice, showcasing articles that advance views on racial and economic justice, policy advocacy and movement building. In 2013, Urban Habitat (UH) suspended publication of RP&E. Shortly thereafter, UH began a leadership transition and a thorough reassessment of its organizational plan. Out of this process came a new vision for continuing this vital work. The Reimagine! project seeks to pilot a joint publication model in which groups share the sponsorship and editorial direction of the journal, thereby enhancing its sustainability and its potential as a movement-building vehicle.
Our 2015 objectives are to:
- Identify broad group of potential cooperating organizations; meet individually and collectively to discuss publishing needs and ways in which a re-imagined RP&E might meet them
- Secure commitments from organizational partners and agree on project structure
- Produce 6 podcasts, 2 print editions and monthly online updates.
The Reimagine RP&E Initiative consists of community organizers working for a more equal and just society, academics working to create the intellectual framework of contemporary racial justice theories, students aspiring to study these practices, media outlets building national networks to advance social justice, and individual and institutional philanthropists capable of providing robust financial support for these efforts.
Race, Poverty and the Environment (RP&E) was founded in 1990. The journal has a wide-reaching, extremely diverse readership that includes grassroots activists, students and academics, progressive policymakers, and philanthropists. Topics that RP&E has addressed this year include racial discrimination in the foreclosure crisis, arts and culture as an economic development strategy, and national campaigns led by low-wage workers that combine job-site organizing, government policy initiatives, and public education.
Movement Building: RP&E has tracked regional policy campaigns such as local hire initiatives in San Francisco, “transit-oriented development without displacement,” and implementation of California’s green house gas emissions legislation. Our articles were used in outreach to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in support of Supervisor John Avalos’ local hire legislation.
National Outreach: Critical information and analysis to new audiences. A 10-page centerfold on the emerging transportation justice movement in the Bay area helped crystallize the civil rights framing for Urban Habitat’s Transportation Justice program, strengthening its outreach on a national level. National labor newsletters, Bay Area region news websites, and national magazines, such as colorlines.com and newamericamedia.org, picked up the journal’s coverage, thus bringing critical information and analysis to new audiences.
Podcasts: On our first show, commemorating RP&E’s 20th anniversary, we interviewed Urban Habitat co-founder Carl Anthony about the origins of the Environmental Justice movement and its future trajectory. We have since podcast speeches and interviews with movement thinkers such as john a.powell, Grace Lee Boggs, Immanuel Wallerstein, and James Lawson.
Research and Education
RP&E’s growing online research collection of publications from community-based organizations and academic institutions gives readers additional in-depth background on key policy issues such as transportation justice, land use, and equitable economic development. RP&E’s online news tracking feature provides timely, updated information on these same issues to allies and the public, while also building Urban Habitat’s capacity to identify and contact reporters and editors in the Bay Area and beyond.
As described by founding editors Carl Anthony and Luke Cole in the first issue of RP&E, which was published on Earth Day, April 20, 1990:
The idea for the Race, Poverty and the Environment newsletter grew out of a caucus of interested people at the University of Oregon’s Public Interest Law Conference, held in March 1990. Caucus participants recognized the importance of increased attention to the nexus of race, class and environmental issues and the need for a forum in which to continue their dialogue.
At the First National People of Color Summit, held in Washington, D.C., in 1991, Carl Anthony gave a presentation on sustainable growth and made a case for environmental justice organizations to broaden their scope beyond anti-toxics campaigns. The summit was a pivotal event for the environmental justice movement, and delegates affirmed 17 principles to guide their work. RP&E was there to cover the emerging movement and to share the energy with its growing network. In the follow-up issue published in Fall 1991, Paul Mohai and Bunyan Bryant of the University of Michigan provided a historical and sociological examination of the subject of environmental racism. Dana Alston of the Panos Institute gave her view of the Summit and how it is altering the environmental movement. RP&E has continued this vital function as an information hub for more than 20 years, growing from a 16-page photocopy edition in 1990, to a professional print, Web, and radio service today.