Dr. Robert D. Bullard, known as the “Father of Environmental Justice,” is this year’s recipient of the Berkeley Law Ecology Law Quarterly’s Environmental Leadership Award. Dr. Bullard is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University, where he directs the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice.
Dr. Bullard has published eighteen books on environmental racism, sustainable development, climate justice, community resilience, and more. His first book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, is a foundational text for the study of environmental justice. Dr. Bullard conducted an ethnographic study of communities across the South to show that waste facilities were almost entirely located in Black neighborhoods, an intentional result of systemic racism. In these early years, Dr. Bullard did not receive strong support from the environmental movement, nor civil rights groups. But by continuing to advocate and educate on this issue, Dr. Bullard succeeded in bringing environmental justice into the focus of activists and policymakers worldwide.
Dr. Bullard’s latest books include Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States (American Public Health Association Press, 2011) and the Wrong Place for Protection (New York University Press, 2012). In 2014, the Sierra Club named its new Environmental Justice Award after Dr. Bullard in recognition of his achievements. And in 2020, Dr. Bullard received the United Nations Environment Programme’s Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award, the UN’s most prestigious environmental honor.
Dr. Bullard’s contributions to the field of environmental science and policy are invaluable, and Ecology Law Quarterly is proud to further his vision of environmental justice through its publications and the presentation of this award.