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The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice: Why Race and Place Still Matter

November 16, 2023 @ 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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. Having worked on environmental and climate issues in the U.S. and round the world, Professor Robert D. Bullard’s talk focuses on 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 also discuss his book, The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities, which analyzes more than eight decades of differential government response to natural and human-made disasters. Finally, Dr. Bullard will offer strategies to dismantle institutional policies and practices that create, exacerbate and perpetuate inequality and vulnerability before and after disasters strike.

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About our keynote speaker:
Dr. Robert D. Bullard is often described as the father of environmental justice. He is the former Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University 2011-2016. Professor Bullard currently is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University and Director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice. Prior to coming to TSU he was founding Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He is an award-winning author of eighteen books that 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. To learn more about Dr. Bullard please visit his website

This event will feature a catered lunch and Dr. Bullard’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion coordinated by the Environmental Professionals Network and moderated by Ohio State’s Dr. Darryl Hood, Professor and Deans’ Fellow, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health. This will be a hybrid event with Dr. Bullard joining us remotely from Texas. All events will be live streamed via Zoom.


The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences would like to thank our co-sponsors:
University Libraries, the College of Engineering, the College of Social Work, the Moritz College of Law, and the College of Public Health. We would also like to acknowledge folks at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs for their important contributions.