posted February 20, 2006

Series to Discuss Environmental Justice and Racism

The Hope College Student Speaker Series will feature a discussion of environmental justice and environmental racism by sociologist Dr. Robert Bullard on Wednesday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Bullard is the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. His scholarship has distinguished him as one of the leading experts on environmental justice and race and the environment.

He is the author of 11 books that address environmental justice, environmental racism, urban land use, facility permitting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, suburban sprawl and smart growth. His award-winning book "Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality" is a standard text in the environmental justice field. A few of his other books include "Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots," "Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color," and "The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution."

Bullard was one of the planners of the First and Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summits, held in 1991 and 2002 respectively. He was on President Clinton's Transition Team in the Natural Resources and Environment Cluster (Departments of Energy, the Interior and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency). He also served on the U.S. EPA National Environment Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), chairing the Health and Research Subcommittee. He has testified and served as an expert witness in dozens of civil rights cases over the past decade.

Prior to joining the faculty at Clark Atlanta University in 1994, he served as a professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, and was a visiting professor with the Center for Afro-American Studies at UCLA.

Bullard's visit is being sponsored by the college's Student Congress, and supported through other Hope student organizations and departments including the President's Office and the Office of the Dean of Students.

The Student Speaker Series debuted with author Alex Haley on Jan. 30, 1992. Others featured through the years have included actor Danny Glover and actor/director Felix Justice; comedian and talk show host Bertice Berry; author James Malinchak; former principal Joe Clark, inspiration for the film "Lean on Me"; attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on environmental issues; writer Maya Angelou; author Jack Thompson, a leading anti-entertainment industry litigator; author David Kushner; presidential speech writer and lawyer Ben Stein; and peace activist Arun Gandhi.

Bullard is the first of two speakers that the series is presenting this year. The series will feature Cleve Jones, founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, on Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.