UH Hosting Lecture by ‘Father of Environmental Justice’ Robert D. Bullard

Noted Author, Activist Presenting ‘The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice’ Sept. 23


Award-winning author. Climate trailblazer. Champion of environmental justice.

Robert D. Bullard is known as all of the above, and his research continues to spark new ideas related to race, sustainability, environmental health and so many other issues affecting our world. Soon, he’ll share insights on these very topics with community members at the University of Houston.

Bullard will address “The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice” at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 23, in the UH Alumni Center’s Great Hall (3204 Cullen Blvd.). This event is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved here.

Bullard’s research on the Gulf Coast region of Texas (including Houston) will be highlighted during this lecture and illustrate the intersections of race, class, pollution, unequal protection and environmental vulnerability.

Recognized as the “Father of Environmental Justice,” Bullard has published numerous volumes dedicated to the environmental challenges faced by southern communities. His texts include “The Invisible Houston,” “Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina,” and “The Wrong Complexion for Protection.”

“The environmental justice movement has basically redefined what environmentalism is all about. It basically says that the environment is everything: where we live, work, play, go to school, as well as the physical and natural world. We can’t separate the physical environment from the cultural environment,” Bullard said in an interview with Earth First! Journal.

His research, writings and activism have earned Bullard spots on noted environmentalists’ lists, including the 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy and 22 Climate Trailblazers. In 2020, he was awarded the Health Heroes Trailblazer Award from WebMD and the United Nation’s “Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Complementing these honors are last year’s appointment by U.S. President Joe Biden to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and his recent election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“As a person of color in Earth Science, one of the least diverse STEM fields, Dr. Bullard inspires me with his courage and vision,” said Jonny Wu, associate professor in UH’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “He shows us that we, too, can have a voice in environmental and climate justice issues.”

From 2011 – 2016, Bullard served as dean at Texas Southern University’s Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. He is currently the institution’s Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy and Director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice.

His lecture at UH is presented by the University’s Office of the Provost, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Hobby School of Public Affairs, Law Center and UH Population Health.

- Mike Emery, UH Academic Communications