UCLA | Environmental Justice

A video story about Environmental Justice created as part of UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability's lesson plan for high school students around the U.S.


We learn about the concept of Environmental Justice through examples of urban oil drilling in Los Angeles, interviews of residents living close to oil wells, and comparisons of neighborhoods that exemplify environmental injustice. This is one of UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES)'s GreenSparks lessons.

We produced Season 2 of this series in collaboration with the UCLA IoES team and community experts such as Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Stand LA, and People Not Pozos. Every lesson is field-tested in Los Angeles classrooms, and widely distributed and accessible to anyone with internet access.



Art Direction



Video Production



Story & Script: Moana McClellan, Ph.D.

Direction, Production & Design: Margaret To

Script Editors: Faye Lessler, Gladys Limón, Ashley Kruythoff, Alison Hahm, Holly Buck

Narration: Joyce Yoo

Animation: Kari Pieterse

Music, SFX & Sound Mixing: HABITAAT Music

Interview Footage: Sarah Golden, Republic of Light

Interviewees: Beatriz Carrillo, Nalleli Cobo

Cinematography & Aerial Footage: Eldon Arena

Communications & Outreach: Ashley KruythoffDr. Cully Nordby

Community Experts: Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), People Not Pozos, Stand LA




We spent a day filming in Wilmington and West Pico's oil drilling sites, and witnessed first-hand the disparity between the two neighborhoods. We aim to convey a sense of urgency and inspire action as we document real-life examples of Environmental Injustice cases in Los Angeles. Collaborating with local community experts and coalitions, we incorporated interviews of residents living in oil well communities sharing their experiences, as well as data and surveys conducted by UCLA.

For the visual treatment, we created a mixed-media style merging live footage, photography, animation, with hints of bright color tones to engage with our younger audience. We also added textured backgrounds inspired by the research, data, maps, and reporting of oil drilling in LA.




Working with the UCLA team and community experts, we explore the topic of environmental justice through examples of environmental racism, household surveys conducted by the university, and documentation of residents' experiences living in neighborhoods near oil drillings. 


The UCLA GreenSparks initiative raises awareness and creates hope for a more green future by enthralling today’s kids about the wonders of the environment. GreenSparks lessons bring environmental science content to high school classrooms around the U.S. Every lesson is field-tested in Los Angeles classrooms, and widely distributed and accessible to anyone with internet access. To learn more about UCLA's GreenSparks program, head to ioes.ucla.edu/greensparks.


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