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People for Community Recovery


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Civics, History, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South, USA - Midwest, Louisiana, Illinois

Hazel M. Johnson's Legacy

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  • This interactive timeline is a biography of Hazel M Johnson and her many years of research and organizing to help protect her community from environmental pollution and housing segregation.
  • Students will learn about Hazel's life, her birth in Cancer Alley of New Orleans, her efforts in the environmental justice movement in South Chicago, and her remarkable accomplishments.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is incredibly informative and engaging. Students will enjoy learning about Hazel M. Johnson's story.
  • The biography is broken down into manageable chunks, each with its own photo.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some understanding of environmental justice before reading this resource.


  • Connections can be made in health classes discussing the ways in which people and communities are impacted by environmental pollution. 
  • This resource would make an excellent introduction to the concepts of activism or environmental justice. Go through the timeline together as a class, pausing to discuss the main points and make connections. 
  • Once students have learned about Hazel M. Johnson's legacy, challenge them to learn about other environmental justice activists and report their learning to the class. 
Scientist Notes
This website from People for Community Recovery discusses the history of one of the first environmental justice crusaders, Hazel M. Johnson. The site provides historical background and personal experiences that caused Hazel to start PCR. This website we be a great addition to a classroom discussing environmental justice / racism and the roots of the movement.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.1.6-8 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.
      • D2.Civ.10.6-8 Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
      • D2.His.5.6-8 Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time.
      • D2.His.14.6-8 Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.10 By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
      • 8.12.3 Work cooperatively as an advocate for improving personal, family, and community health.
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