The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice

April 9, 2024 6:30 pm

Town Hall Seattle

Headshot of Robert Bullard, a black man in three quarter profile looking in the distance, wearing glasses with a grey suit with white shirt and gold patterned tie

Climate change is the defining global environmental justice, human rights and public health issue of the twenty-first century. The most vulnerable populations in the United States and around the world 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.  Professor Bullard’s presentation will focus primarily on the U.S. and 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. He will offer a framework for dismantling systemic racism and policies and practices that create, exacerbate and perpetuate inequality and vulnerability.   

Registration opens March 13, 2024.

About the speaker

Robert Bullard

Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy and Director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, Texas Southern University

Often described as the father of environmental justice, Dr. Robert Bullard is the Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University (TSU) and Director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice. Prior to coming to TSU he was the founding Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. In 2011 along with Dr. Beverly Wright, Executive Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Inc, he co-founded the HBCU Climate Change Consortium.  

He is the author of eighteen books which address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, disasters, emergency response, and community resilience, smart growth, and regional equity. 

His most recent awards and recognitions are many and include: 

In 2018 he was named one of 22 Climate Trailblazers by the Global Climate Action Summit which is awarded annually to individuals from around the world representing both emerging and established voices on climate change action, activism and ambition. 

In 2019 he was named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy by APolitical. Locally, Washington State University honored him with the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Justice. And the organization, Climate One named him the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. 

In 2020, he received the Health Heroes Trailblazer Award from WebMD; and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) honored him with its Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award, the UN’s highest environmental honor, recognizing outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. 

In 2021, President Joe Biden named him to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC). And in 2022, University of California, Berkeley Ecology Law Quarterly gave him its Environmental Leadership Award. And in that same year, Georgetown University awarded him an honorary doctorate and he was elected to join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Dr. Bullard is a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran who received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

Event Accessibility

The University is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or