WORKSHOP #7: Toxic Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality, 10:00 a.m. — 11:35 a.m.
Featuring Dr. Robert Bullard, “Father of Environmental Justice.” His appearance is part of a strategic week of action by the Mobile NAACP’s Environmental Justice Committee to raise awareness about environmental justice issues.
The Mobile County NAACP Branch #5044 is convening a workshop to shed light on the local struggle against petrochemical expansion in the historic Africatown community. The struggle has statewide and national implications for communities of colors and people in poor areas, who have historically faced more exposure to hazardous pollutants from industrial by-products and toxic waste in their communities.
David Smith, Chair of the Mobile Branch NAACP’s Environmental Justice Committee, says it’s time to share knowledge about the issue in Africatown and its implications for the broader community, for riverfront property owners in downtown Mobile, the rest of the state and the country.
The Mobile Branch NAACP has coordinated with other community and environmental justice groups to bring Dr. Robert Bullard to the AL NAACP State Convention. Dr. Bullard is Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. One of his books, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality, written 25 years ago, is a standard text in the environmental justice field. He has testified as an expert witness and served as a technical advisor on hundreds of civil rights lawsuits and public hearings over the past three decades.
He will take part in a panel discussion with Dr. M.A. Baheth and Dr. Raoul Richardson of Baheth Research and Development Laboratories in Mobile. The scientists are deeply concerned about possible damage that decades of exposure to potential pollutants from heavy industries have done to the people and land in Africatown. Their plans include doing an in-depth environmental assessment of the community.
Dr. Bullard’s appearance is part of a strategic week of action by the Mobile NAACP’s Environmental Justice Committee to raise awareness about environmental justice issues. Those issues include understanding what role the residents, the community, environmental organizations, political leaders and the NAACP can play in limiting vulnerable populations’ exposure to toxic dangers.
See local media coverage of the convention’s highlighting the efforts of Africatown and environmental group against further petrochemical storage along the Mobile River at AL.com.
Get more information on the convention’s other workshops and full schedule HERE.
Information on Robert Bullard, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert D. Bullard is Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. Dr. Bullard is often described as the father of environmental justice, having used his academic prowess to show patterns of environmental racism. His book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality, written 25 years ago, is a standard text in the environmental justice field. He has testified as an expert witness and served as a technical advisor on hundreds of civil rights lawsuits and public hearings over the past three decades.
In 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And the same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). In 2010, The Grio named him one of the “100 Black History Makers in the Making” and Planet Harmony named him one of Ten African American Green Heroes.” In 2012, he was featured in Welcomebooks Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing the World One Nonprofit at a Time by Katrina Fried. In 2013, he was honored with the Sierra Club John Muir Award, the first African American to win the award. In 2014, the Sierra Club named its new Environmental Justice Award after Dr. Bullard.
In 1990, he was the first environmental justice scholar to receive the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Conservation Achievement Award in Science for “Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality.” Professor Bullard was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. That same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). And in 2015, the Iowa State University Alumni Association named him its Alumni Merit Award recipient — an award also given to George Washington Carver (1894 ISU alum) in 1937.
He is the author of 18 books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. His most recent books include 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), and The Black Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century: Race, Power, and the Politics of Place (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007). His latest books include Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina: Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (Westview Press, 2009), Environmental Health and Racial Equality in the United States: Strategies for Building Just, Sustainable and Livable Communities (American Public Health Association Press, 2011), and The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities (New York University Press, 2012).