Saint Anthony Falls in 2020

New Exhibition: Climates of Inequality

To see this information in Spanish, visit Climas de Desigualdad 

The Bell Museum presents Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice, from the Humanities Action Lab. This coalition of students, educators, and community leaders produces projects on urgent social issues. This exhibition was developed in cities across the US and around the world, including the Twin Cities. It focuses on storytelling and the experience of communities that bear the greatest impact from environmental degradation while contributing the least to it. Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota have contributed to the project over several semesters. We are delighted to support and share their work. 

Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice opened in Newark, New Jersey in late 2019, with a plan to travel to all 22 cities that contributed to the exhibition. Since COVID-19, it has evolved into a digital platform and evolving multi-media installation. While the Bell Museum is closed, we are profiling the exhibition online and preparing to host it on site.

Join us as we learn about environmental justice around the world and here in Minnesota, and discover ways to get involved. 

This exhibition is now closed, but you can learn more by exploring the virtual programs, activist profiles, and digital content below.

To see the full exhibition, visit Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice

Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice

Follow teams of students, educators, and advocates as they confront their city’s history of environmental inequality—and how its legacies are fueling the climate crisis.

This project

This project is a collaboration of over 500 students, educators, and environmental justice advocates in 22 cities.

The climate crisis isn’t new for those it most severely impacts—Indigenous communities, people of color, and low-wage earners. It’s a continuation of disproportionate environmental harms they’ve resisted for generations.

Help share the histories local frontline communities tell of confronting environmental racism. By building global consciousness of this past, we can shape equitable and just climate solutions that remember and redress past harms.

Twin Cities: Engaging Community and Confronting Environmental Injustice

Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation and a history of Indigenous dispossession and disempowerment. Industrial capitalism is a slow violence aimed at vulnerable populations. We focused on how to center community voices in forming more equitable and accountable policy.

Learn about the problem, its roots, solutions, and perspectives in Minnesota


Climas de Desigualdad: Historias de justicia ambiental

Acompaña a varios equipos de estudiantes, educadores y activistas que hacen frente a las historias de desigualdad ambiental de sus ciudades — y cómo los legados de las mismas avivan la crisis climática.

Este proyecto

Este proyecto resulta de una colaboración entre más de 500 estudiantes, educadores y activistas en justicia ambiental en 22 ciudades.

La crisis climática no es nada nuevo para aquellas personas que se ven más gravemente afectadas: comunidades indígenas, gente de color y personas de bajos ingresos. Es una continuación de los desproporcionados daños ambientales que estos grupos han resistido durante generaciones.

Ayudemos a compartir las historias que relatan las comunidades de primera línea acerca de su lucha contra el racismo ambiental. Al crear una conciencia global sobre dicho pasado, podremos trazar soluciones equitativas y justas que recuerdan, y rectifican, los daños cometidos.

Twin Cities: Participar con la comunidad en la lucha contra la injusticia ambiental

En Minnesota se observa el mayor nivel de desigualdad racial del país y una historia de expropiación y privación de la comunidad indígena. El capitalismo industrial ejerce una violencia lenta contra las poblaciones vulnerables. Nuestro enfoque se dirigió a centrar las voces comunitarias en la formación de políticas más equitativas y responsables.

Conozca el problema, sus raíces, soluciones y perspectivas en Minnesota

Panel Discussions

Join us for virtual panel discussions on Zoom exploring exhibit themes with community organizers and partners.


The results of a tornado in North Minneapolis

Landscapes of Environmental Justice: Bridging Past and Present

Tuesday, March 16, 7-8:30 pm

An introduction to environmental justice challenges in the Twin Cities through a storytelling lens and focusing on first-person narratives. Moderated by Michelle Garvey, Program Director, Environmental Justice, HECUA. Co-sponsored by Heritage Studies and Public History, University of Minnesota. This event has passed, but you can rewatch the discussion here or read the follow-up blog post here



University-Tribal Partnerships to Support Sovereignty and Environmental Justice

Wednesday, April 14, 7-8:30 pm

This discussion focuses on manoomin/psiη (wild rice) and collaborations including First We Must Consider Manoomin / Psiη (Wild Rice), which brings together tribes, intertribal treaty organizations, and University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students. Moderated by Mike Dockry, Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Assistant Professor, Forest Resources, University of Minnesota. Co-sponsored by the Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota. This event has passed, but you can rewatch the discussion here or read the follow-up blog post here. 


Saint Anthony Falls in 2020

Learning from the Past: Environmental Justice and Transportation Corridor Planning

Wednesday, May 5, 7-8:30 pm

A conversation about how people are responding to social and environmental justice questions raised by freeway alignment projects in the past. Moderated by A Public History of 35W. Hosted by Hennepin History Museum and co-sponsored by the Bell Museum. This event has passed.

Virtual Programming

Tune in to our virtual, pre-recorded programming to learn more about environmental justice.


Global Climate Strike Logo

Interview with Juwaria Jama and Savannah Wery 

Members of Youth Climate Strike and the University of Minnesota Climate Strike, Juwaria Jama and Savannah Wery share their experiences as young climate activists who work to address issues of environmental justice. 

Watch the interview here!



Jack ReulerInterview with Jack Reuler

Jack Reuler from Mixed Blood Theater discusses how performance and theater can be useful tools for community outreach and bringing awareness to environmental issues.  

Watch the interview here!



Raul Ramos

Interview with Raul Ramos

Through his art, Raul Ramos uses theater to combat inequality and bring awareness to issues of climate change and climate justice. In this interview, Ramos talks about his experience as a resident artist at Mixed Blood Theater.

Watch the interview here!


Single water droplet splashingWe Are Water Protectors, Storytime 

Written by Carole Lindstrom, We Are Water Protectors is an inspiring story about water protection, environmental rights, and an Ojibwe girl who fights against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Listen to the story here!



Twin Cities, MN partners

University of Minnesota Twin Cities 

Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) 

Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), Program in Environmental Sustainability 

Climates of Inequality is a project of the Humanities Action Lab. Learn more at

It was made possible in part by Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rutgers University-Newark School of Arts and Sciences.

Header image credit: Carol M. Highsmith, Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division (LC-DIG-highsm- 63052)