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human rights

September 05, 2014

Why HBCUs Must Lead on Climate Justice

The nation’s 104 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) play a significant role in training African Americans and other leaders of color in all fields. More than 80 percent of the HBCUs are found in the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic region of the United States. Many southern communities where HBCUs are located and where they draw the vast majority of their students are at ground zero in the fight for climate justice. Climate-related disasters in the southern U.S. have outnumbered those in other regions of the U.S. annually in both scale and magnitude by a ratio of almost 4:1 during the past decade. The southern region is vulnerable not only because of its physical location and but also because of its high prevalence of concentrated poverty, uninsured households, income and wealth inequality, health care disparities, and food insecurity, combined to create a perfect storm of vulnerability if and when natural and human-made disasters strike. Given the region’s unique history, a “southern initiative” is needed to address climate vulnerability and develop strategies for building just and resilient communities.

July 31, 2014

Sierra Club Creates Dr. Robert Bullard Environmental Justice Award

The Board of Directors of the National Sierra Club announced on Tuesday July 29 it had created the Dr. Robert Bullard Environmental Justice Award to be given annually to an individual or group that has done outstanding work in the area of environmental justice.

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.

January 11, 2014

MLK Day 2014: Honor Dr. King by Fighting for Environmental Justice

In 1986 Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday and is celebrated across the nation. The federal holiday is held on the third Monday of January and is seen as a day for Americans to promote equal rights and justice for all, regardless of their background, and to volunteer their time in some civic action groups.

January 05, 2014

2014: The Year of Fallen Environmental Justice Heroes and Sheroes

The year 2014 has special significance as a landmark year for civil rights and social justice. It marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision, 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act 1964 Civil Rights Act, and 20th anniversary of the 1994 Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898. Let’s make 2014 the “Year of Unsung Heroes and Sheroes.”

August 17, 2013

Headed to Environmental Justice Conference in Rio de Janeiro

Travelling to Brazil always excites me. My last visit was in June 2012 for the Rio+20United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD).On the visit this month, I will be giving several talks at the III Seminar on Environmental Justice, Racial Equality and Education, which will happen in two cities of the metropolitan area of Rio

April 17, 2013

An Action Plan for Advancing Environmental Justice

The Environmental Justice Movement is confronted with many old and new challenges.The movement has made tremendous gains over the past four decades as documented in Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States: Building Environmentally Just, Sustainable and Livable Communities, a 2011 book publishedby the American Public Health Association Press (APHA) and the W.K.

April 02, 2013

Nation Loses Environmental Justice Warrior-Grandmother Emelda West

The nation lost a fiery environmental justice warrior on Saturday March 30, 2013 with the death of Emelda West, an 87-year old “take no prisoner” Marine Corps-type leader who became a hero to thousands of environmental justice activists around the country. She was the proud mother of seven children, nineteen grandchildren, and 24 great grandchildren.