Robert D. Bullard is known as the father of environmental justice. According to him, it all began in Houston, "...where I was a young sociology professor just two years out of graduate school. My wife asked me to collect data for a lawsuit she had filed. A company had decided to put a landfill in the middle of a predominantly black, middle-class, suburban neighborhood — a neighborhood where 85 percent of the people owned their homes. Of course, the state gave them a permit, but the people said “no.”
I saw that 100 percent of all the city-owned landfills in Houston were in black neighborhoods, though blacks made up only 25 percent of the population. Three out of four of the privately owned landfills were located in predominantly black neighborhoods, and six out of eight of the city-owned incinerators. In a city that does not have zoning, it meant that these were decisions made by individuals in government.
That’s how I got dragged into this."
When it comes to climate change, he says, "we're not asking people to believe in this" because like me, he knows that climate change isn't a religion. It's a fact; and if we believe we are to love others, then we should be first in line demanding solutions for this problem that disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable here at home and around the world.