Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

“Today, zip code is still the most potent predictor of an individual’s health and well-being.”

Dr. Bullard, often described as the Father of Environmental Justice, is a sociologist and a former dean of the School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. He has written 18 books, including Invisible Houston and The Wrong Complexion for Protection, which analyzes more than eight decades of government response to natural and human-made disasters. He has extended that field of research to include climate change, and he has been named of one of 22 individuals worldwide as a “Climate Pacesetter.”

Much of his life’s work has been devoted to uncovering the underlying assumptions that contribute to and produce unequal protection; he brings to the surface the ethical and political questions of “who gets what, when, where, why, and how much.” Bullard’s research–from toxic waste to climate vulnerability–has documented why many communities of color have the “wrong complexion for protection,” placing their inhabitants at elevated health and environmental risks. His lecture will explore how the environmental justice framework redefined environmentalism and challenged institutional racism and the dominant environmental protection paradigm.

In a recent lecture at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Bullard stated “Climate change is the defining global environmental justice, human rights and public health issue of the twenty-first century. The most vulnerable populations will suffer the earliest and most damaging setbacks because of where they live, their limited income and economic means, and their lack of access to health care. Climate-sensitive hazards are forecast to increase in the coming years. However, not all of the populations residing within these hazard zones have the same capacity to prepare for, respond to, cope with, and rebound from disaster events.” Professor Bullard highlights the need for empowering vulnerable populations, identifying environmental justice and climate change “hot-spot” zones and designing fair, just and effective adaptation, mitigation, emergency management and community resilience and disaster recovery strategies. (http://drrobertbullard.com/dr-robert-bullard-to-lecture-at-case-western-reserve-university-this-month/ )

Read more about Dr. Bullard and environmental justice on his website http://drrobertbullard.com/

The Kilgore Lecture was established in 1986 through a bequest by Dr. Hartman Kilgore, to raise awareness of topics with public policy implications. Previous Kilgore Lecturers include Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, and Lisa Falkenberg, Pulitzer Prize winner and vice president for opinion at the Houston Chronicle.