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July 22, 2014

Houston to Host Three Major Environmental Justice Events in August

Houston will be hosting three important environmental justice events during the first week of August. All of the meetings will address the disproportionate location of industrial polluting facilities and toxic dumping on low-income and people of color communities and the potential health effects. The Houston “petropolis” (with its no-zoning policy) provides a perfect case study for examining how environmental decision making over the years—with the absence of an equity and justice lens—placed low-wealth and people of color neighborhoods on the frontline of environmental assault and thus exposed them to elevated health risks. The Environmental Justice Movement has set a course to reverse and correct these past mistakes and prevent them from happening in the future.

July 20, 2014

Houston’s People of Color Neighborhoods “Unofficially Zoned” for Garbage

Zero Waste Houston Coalition will hold an Environmental Justice and Waste Summit on Saturday August 2 at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston. The Summit organizers include local and national leaders who will present strategies to address race, waste and environmental justice issues in Houston. The Summit will bring special attention to Houston’s controversial “One Bin for All” trash recycling proposal which presents social environmental challenges by giving preference to siting a new waste facility in people of color neighborhoods. After more than three decades. some Houston residents may have to once again confront environmental racism.

July 10, 2014

Houston’s New Recycling Plan Gives Preference to Siting Waste Facility in Minority Areas

The Zero Waste Houston Coalition released a new report, “It’s Smarter to Separate: How Houston’s Trash Proposal Would Waste Our Resources, Pollute Our Air and Harm Our Community’s Health,” on the steps of City Hall. The report details environmental problems and challenges facing the One Bin for All experiment the City of Houston is considering to jumpstart its recycling program. It also documents the environmental justice and civil rights implications of the City giving preference to existing landfills for the location of its new One Bin for All waste facility. Houston since the 1920s has located its landfills, incinerators and garbage transfer stations exclusively in mostly African American and Latino neighborhoods.

April 21, 2014

UM Professor Paul Mohai Receives Damu Smith Power of One Leadership Award

Longtime environmental justice scholar, researcher and professor Paul Mohai was presented the 2014 Damu Smith Power of One Leadership Award this past weekend at the Second Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference held at Dillard University in New Orleans April 17-19. Professor Mohai is a professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan where he co-founded the Environmental Justice Program in the mid-1990s.

April 17, 2014

Second Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference Kicks Off in New Orleans

The Second Annual HBCU Climate Change Student Conference kicks off today and runs through Saturday April 19 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference is hosted by Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. All sessions are held on the Dillard campus except for the community tour that begins on Thursday afternoon.

March 19, 2014

My “Magnificent Seven” Environmental Justice Sheroes

Women have provided essential leadership in every successful social movement in the United States. Many took on social justice causes in defense of family, community and homeland, while still pulling double-duty as primary care giver at home. Because of the extraordinary sacrifices and contributions these women of color made in advancing the Environmental Justice Movement, I would like to share my “Magnificent Seven” sheroes who are no longer with us physically—but whose spirit lives on.

March 04, 2014

New Reports: My “Top 10” Picks for January and February

In writing a couple of articles and a report for Black History Month and the 20-year commemoration of the Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898, I had an opportunity to read a lot of papers, reports and articles. Here are my “Top 10” picks that deal with environment, health and social inequality.

February 13, 2014

Environmental Justice Leaders Mark Twentieth Anniversary of Executive Order 12898

It has now been twenty years since President Bill Clinton signed the Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.” The Executive Order has survived three presidents. Although it has never been fully implemented, there are some positive signs at the executive level that environmental justice is back on the federal radar.

February 09, 2014

New Report Tracks Environmental Justice Movement Over Five Decades

This Tuesday February 11 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898 signed by President Bill Clinton. Environmental justice leaders from all across the country will commemorate the historic signing of the Executive Order with mixed emotions. A team of researcher at Texas Southern University will release a new report, “Environmental Justice Timeline and Milestones, 1964-2014,” that tracks the Environmental Justice Movement over the past five decades, beginning with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The vast majority of environmental justice leaders two decades ago preferred to have environmental justice codified in law. However, that did not happen. They recognize the Environmental Justice Movement did not start with the Executive Order nor was it driven by government action. The 20-year commemoration is a time for grassroots-led movement leaders to reflect on how far they have come and where they are going.

February 02, 2014

NAACP Climate Justice Director to Give Black History Month Lecture at TSU

Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental Justice Climate Program, is the featured keynote speaker at the 2014 Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University Black History Month Lecture Series (Thursday February 27, 2014 6:30pm. – 114 McCoy Auditorium, Public Affairs Building, Houston, Texas).