photo of Dr. Robert D. Bullard

BIPOC in STEM: Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Father of Environmental Justice

By Alexia Maceda

The Black sociologist, author, professor, and former dean Dr. Robert D. Bullard, is well-renowned as the Father of Environmental Justice. His notable work happened through a civil lawsuit on Black middle-class communities living near landfills in Houston, 1978. His research disclosed that discriminatory decision-making for the planning and placement of environmental hazardous sites was happening in communities of color. In addition to how his work changed policy-decision about pollution and environmental racism, he is also one of the world’s top 100 most influential people in climate change policy. Furthermore, he has been in recent conversations about the coronavirus pandemic, explaining that many marginalized, Black communities are located near coal-fired power plants. As these people are more exposed to air pollution, they may become more vulnerable to COVID-19. Ultimately, Dr. Robert Bullard seeks environmental justice for Black America, in order to reduce the disparities in housing, urban land use, industry sitting, sustainability, and health. 

“America is segregated and so is pollution. The equity lens is a useful frame for understanding the intersectionality of environmental, climate, economic and racial justice issues in the United States.”

To learn more, visit:

Photo of Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Father of Environmental Justice
Photo from