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  • Writer's pictureJenna Rines

Resources I wish I knew about in my MSW - Part 1

A note on the Capital Riots:

In previous posts, we have explored that environmental injustice is inextricably linked to experiences of social injustice, health disparities, and racism. Forces of white supremacy, such as the insurrection at the US Capitol incited by the president, promote these conditions. At the same time, we see grassroots leaders and community organizers continue to fight against these malicious systems and affect ground-breaking change, such as with the US Georgia Senate Runoff Elections.

In this time that feels deeply divisive and uncertain, we are inspired by the strength of activists and leaders who are resolute in fighting for social and environmental justice for all. The ISWEJ joins with myriad other individuals and organizations in condemning the anti-democratic and racist acts at the Capitol on January 6th. We believe political activism is inherent in social work, and that by building community we can unify against these contradictions to our core values and ethical commitments. We hope that you have access to any supports you may need.


We are intentionally starting off this year’s blog by celebrating the environmental justice work of social workers around the world. As part of our mission to support our community and advance environmental justice as a social work issue, we want to direct those of you who are interested to resources that may further your thinking or practice. This is something that I certainly wish I had access to earlier in my career (or even better, during my Master of Social Work program!) to explore my concerns about climate change in the context of my practice.

We have broken this list into parts to make it more manageable, so keep an eye out for additional resources in upcoming blog posts. Today's post will focus on books and journal articles by social workers that excite and inspire us; some of these have been around for many years, but others (as you will see!) are hot off the press. These are certainly not exhaustive lists, but a starting point that we hope you will find helpful.


Dominelli, L. (2012). Green social work: From environmental crises to environmental justice. Polity.

Dominelli, L. (Ed.). (2018). The Routledge handbook of green social work. Routledge.

Drolet, J. (Ed). Rebuilding lives post-disaster. (2019). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Erickson, C. L. (2018). Environmental justice as social work practice. Oxford University Press.

Gray, M., Coates, J., & Hetherington, T. (Eds.). (2012). Environmental social work. Routledge.

Matthies, A. L., & Närhi, K. (Eds.). (2016). The Ecosocial Transition of Societies: The contribution of social work and social policy. Taylor & Francis.

Nesmith, A. A., Schmitz, C. L., Machado-Escudero, Y., Billiot, S., Forbes, R. A., Powers, M. C., Buckhoy, N., Lawrence, L. A., & Sloan, L. M. (2021). The intersection of environmental justice, climate change, community, and the ecology of life. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland.

Reyes Mason, L. & Rigg, J. People and Climate Change: Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Social Justice. Oxford University Press; 2019. doi:10.1093/oso/9780190886455.001.0001

Rinkel, M., & Powers, M. (Eds.). (2017). Social Work Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability: A Workbook for Global Social Workers and Educators. International Federation of Social Workers. *Free to download here. Volume 2 here and Volume 3 here.

Journal Articles:

Barney, R. (2019). How Social Workers Can Use a Human Rights Approach to Disasters: Lessons Learned from the International Community. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 1-11.

Beltrán, R., Hacker, A., & Begun, S. (2016). Environmental justice is a social justice issue: Incorporating environmental justice into social work practice curricula. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(4), 493-502.

Billiot, S., Beltrán, R., Brown, D., Mitchell, F. M., & Fernandez, A. (2019). Indigenous perspectives for strengthening social responses to global environmental changes: A response to the social work grand challenge on environmental change. Journal of Community Practice, 27(3-4), 296-316.

Billiot, S., Kwon, S., & Burnette, C. E. (2019). Repeated Disasters and Chronic Environmental Changes Impede Generational Transmission of Indigenous Knowledge. Journal of Family Strengths, 19(1), 11.

Dominelli, L. (2013). Environmental justice at the heart of social work practice: Greening the profession. International Journal of Social Welfare, 22(4), 431-439.

Dominelli, L. (2014). Promoting environmental justice through green social work practice: A key challenge for practitioners and educators. International Social Work, 57(4), 338-345.

Krings, A., Victor, B. G., Mathias, J., & Perron, B. E. (2020). Environmental social work in the disciplinary literature, 1991–2015. International Social Work, 63(3), 275-290.

Mason, L. R., Sharma, B. B., Walters, J. E., & Ekenga, C. C. (2020). Mental Health and Weather Extremes in a Southeastern US City: Exploring Group Differences by Race. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(10), 3411.

Miller, S. E., Hayward, R. A., & Shaw, T. V. (2012). Environmental shifts for social work: A principles approach. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(3), 270-277.

Philip, D., & Reisch, M. (2015). Rethinking social work's interpretation of ‘environmental justice’: From local to global. Social Work Education, 34(5), 471-483.

Powers, M. C. F. (2017). "Establishing a professional career that addresses the environmental crisis." In K. van Wormer & F. H. Besthorn, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Macro Level: Groups, Communities and Organizations (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Powers, M. C., Schmitz, C. A., Nsonwu, C. Z., & Mathew, M. T. (2018). Environmental migration: Social work at the nexus of climate change and global migration. Advances in Social Work, 18(3), 1023-1040.

Powers, M. C. F., & Engstrom, S. (2020). Radical Self-Care for Social Workers in the Global Climate Crisis. Social Work, 65(1), 29-37.

Rao, S., & Teixeira, S. (2020). The Green New Deal: Social Work’s Role in Environmental Justice Policy. Social Work, 65(2), 197-200.

Sim, T., Yuen-Tsang Woon Ki, A., Quen, C. H., & Dong, Q. H. (2013). Rising to the occasion: Disaster social work in China. International social work, 56(4), 544-562.

Schmitz, C. L., Matyók, T., Sloan, L. M., & James, C. (2012). The relationship between social work and environmental sustainability: Implications for interdisciplinary practice. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(3), 278-286.

Shajahan, P. K., & Sharma, P. (2018). Environmental justice: A call for action for social workers. International Social Work, 61(4), 476-480.

Teixeira, S., Mathias, J., & Krings, A. (2019). The future of environmental social work: looking to community initiatives for models of prevention. Journal of Community Practice, 27(3-4), 414-429.


As always, if you have anything to add or would like to provide feedback, please share it with us. Let us know if you find this helpful! What resources inspire and excite you?

We are also excited to welcome Georgianna Dolan-Reilly to the team as our Outreach & Advocacy Manager, so look out for ways to get engaged with the ISWEJ via social media in the coming weeks!

Thanks for reading!

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