Three Texas Southern University Mickey Leland Scholars are part of a 50-member delegation of student leaders and faculty mentors who will be attending the United Nations COP21 Climate Summit in Paris. The HBCU COP21 delegation includes 15 schools in states stretching from Texas to Pennsylvania.
The HBCU Climate Change Consortium was founded to support environmental and climate education and training, research, policy and civic engagement work—all viewed through an equity and justice lens. It is also fundraising to send a delegation of young emerging African American leaders from black colleges to the COP21 climate meetings in Paris this December.
Houston environmental activist Juan Parras is the 2015 recipient of the Sierra Club Robert D. Bullard Environmental Justice Award. Since 2006, Mr. Parras has led Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services or T.e.j.a.s, Houston lone Latino environmental justice organization, in its quest for health, justice and sustainability in Houston’s most environmentally challenged communities.
Dillard University and Texas Southern University convened the Third Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference in New Orleans on March 26-29. More than 200 students and faculty mentors from 19 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and community based organization leaders attended the four-day event. Consortium members developed a 6-month fund-raising plan to ensure a diverse number of students/faculty mentors and CBO leaders engage in on-the-ground activities leading up to the United Nations COP21 in Paris, France November 30 thru December 11, 2015.
A major study from Green 2.0 has once again brought national attention to the whiteness of mainstream environmental organizations. A major push is now underway to diversity these groups by adding more people of color to their boards and staff. However, diversifying white environmental organizations is only part of the solution. Diversifying funding to people of color and indigenous environmental organizations and institutions must be given equal weight in addressing current and future environmental challenges going forward as we transition to a majority people of color nation in the next thirty years.
In order for the nation to make headway on the climate change front, we need our mainstream environmental organization friends and philanthropic allies who supported the People’s Climate March to join us in supporting the recommendations for diversifying funding and building an infrastructure of “grassroots” efforts, ethnic-based networks, and regional environmental and climate initiatives—better known as a Movement. That’s how we put together a winning team to effectively battle climate change, social vulnerability and build community resilience.
Non-Hispanic Whites make up only 26 percent of Houston. Yet, the city’s controversial One Bin for All recycling plan advisory committee is 80 percent white. It is hard to imagine how the nearly all-white One Bin committee can move forward in any credible way without the Mayor “fixing” the glaring omission of Hispanics on the advisory committee. This is not an insignificant point since Hispanics currently make up nearly half of the city’s population.
The Waste and Environmental Justice Summit was held this past Saturday at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. More than one hundred community and civic leaders attended the policy summit to hear from experts on recycling, waste and race, environmental justice and Houston’s controversial One Bin for All Recycling Plan.
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.
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.