Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lily Geismer


This thesis examines the forces and factors that gave rise to environmental justice movements surrounding the Port of Los Angeles in the early 21st Century. Through the spatial, economic, and migratory factors that shaped the region of Southeast Los Angeles, this thesis brings to light important tensions between port authorities, politicians, labor groups, employees, and communities that determined the economic and environmental fate of the region. These tensions came to a head through unique coalitions of labor and community-based environmental movements, ultimately achieving major regulatory wins and establishing initiatives that supported the financial and physical health of employees and communities. Through these moments of success, this thesis argues that centering environmental gains in environmental justice communities will ultimately prove to be the most promising path to climate solutions and healthy and thriving communities.