Gulf Coast Green

Dr. Robert D. Bullard

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Father of the environmental justice

Robert Bullard is often described as the father of environmental justice. He is the former dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University and currently is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. Previously, he was founding director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He is co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium and a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

Robert is an award-winning author of 18 books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, disasters, emergency response, community resilience, smart growth, and regional equity. His book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, is a standard text in the environmental justice field. Recent books include Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina, Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States, and The Wrong Complexion for Protection.

In 2013, Robert became the first African American to receive the Sierra Club John Muir Award. In 2014, the Sierra Club named its new Environmental Justice Award after him. In 2015, the Iowa State University Alumni Association named him its Alumni Merit Award recipient—an award also given to George Washington Carver in 1937. In 2018, the Global Climate Action Summit named him one of 22 Climate Trailblazers. In 2019, Apolitical named him one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy. In 2020, WebMD gave him its Health Heroes Trailblazer Award, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) honored him with its Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award, the UN’s highest environmental honor.

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