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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.