Why are so many polluting industries and toxic waste sites located in neighborhoods where low-income people of color live? Robert Bullard believes the reason is environmental racism. The sociology professor and director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University will speak about environmental justice during an April 7 campus talk. (See calendar section for details.)
According to associate professor of geography Girma Kebbede, Bullard "has done an immense amount of work arguing that minority groups and low-income people live with a disproportionate share of the environmental hazards in the U.S." The "not in my backyard" syndrome has allowed those with money to keep toxic industries and storage facilities out of their neighborhoods. So the poor, people of color, and inner-city dwellers are bearing the brunt of environmental pollution throughout the country, Bullard says.
Bullard, whose most recent book is Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, has conducted research in the areas of urban land use, housing, community development, industrial facility-siting processes, and environmental quality. Kebbede says Bullard is part of a Clinton-appointed Environmental Protection Agency team currently studying the impact of environmentally hazardous industries on communities.