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 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. degree 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. He is co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium. Dr. Bullard is a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteranHe was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). In 2010, The Grio named him one of the “100 Black History Makers in the Making” and Planet Harmony named him one of Ten African American Green Heroes.”
His book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality (Westview Press, 2000), is a standard text in the environmental justice field. Some of his book titles include Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003), Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism and New Routes to Equity (South End Press, 2004), The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution (Sierra Club Books, 2005), Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity (MIT Press, 2007), and The Black Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century: Race, Power, and the Politics of Place (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007). He is co-author of In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster and Race After Katrina(Russell Sage Foundation, 2006) and Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007 (United Church of Christ Witness & Justice Ministries, 2007).
His latest books include Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina (Westview Press, 2009), Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States (American Public Health Association Press, 2011), and The Wrong Complexion for Protection (New York University Press, 2012). In 2013, he was honored with the Sierra Club John Muir Award, the first African American to win the award. In 2014, the Sierra Club named its new Environmental Justice Award after Dr. Bullard. In 2015, the Iowa State University Alumni Association named him its Alumni Merit Award recipient—an award also given to George Washington Carver (1894 ISU alum) in 1937. In 2017, the Children Environmental Health Network presented him with the Child Health Advocate Award.
In 2018, the Global Climate Action Summit named Dr. Bullard one of 22 Climate Trailblazers. And in 2019, Apolitical named him one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy, Washington State University honored him with the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Justice and Climate One named him the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication.
In 2019, Apolitical named him one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy, Washington State University honored him with the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Justice and Climate One named him the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication.
In 2020, WebMD gave him its Health Heroes Trailblazer Award 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, Georgetown University awarded him an honorary doctorate and he was elected to join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.