AN OVERVIEW OF DR. ROBERT BULLARD, THE FATHER OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Dr. Robert Bullard is the author of eighteen books and is widely considered the “father of environmental justice” for his trailblazing works on equity, climate, and justice.

Dr. Bullard’s environmental activism began in the 1970s in Houston. While working as a sociologist, he became aware of the policy of placing garbage dump sites in predominately black neighborhoods. This education eventually led to his first book, Dumping In Dixie–the first work to fully define and address environmental racism.

In 1991 he co-planned the first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, where the principles of environmental justice were first articulated. He also helped prepare President Clinton’s executive order requiring federal agencies to consider environmental justice. He is the co-author of an extensively researched work about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina published in 2006.

In 2010, The Grio included him in their “100 Black History Makers In the Making” list. He was named on Planet Harmony’s “Ten African American Green Heroes” list as well. In 2013, the Sierra Club bestowed Dr. Bullard with their prestigious John Muir Award; in 2014, they named their Environmental Justice Award after him.

Apolitical in 2019 honored him with inclusion in their list 100 Most Influential People In Climate Change Policy. In 2020, Dr. Bullard was awarded the United Nation’s highest environmental honor, the United Nation’s Environment’s Program’s Champions of Earth Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dumping In Dixie (Westview Press, 2000) is widely considered a classic text in the field. He is also the author of the following books:

  • Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003)
  • Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism and New Routes to Equity (South End Press, 2004)
  • The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution (Sierra Club Books, 2005)
  • Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity (MIT Press, 2007)
  • The Black Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century: Race, Power, and the Politics of Place (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).

Dr. Bullard is also the co-author of In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina(Russell Sage Foundation, 2006) and Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007 (United Church of Christ Witness & Justice Ministries, 2007).

This article was originally published on BarryNerhus.com

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