Poverty, Pollution & Public Health: Strategies for Building Just and Sustainable Communities

Prof. Robert D. Bullard, PhD

Clark Atlanta University

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm

William G. Shepard Room, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

Despite significant improvements in environmental protection over the past several decades, millions of Americans continue to live in unsafe and unhealthy physical environments. If a community happens to be poor, powerless, or inhabited largely by people of color, it receives less environmental protection than the larger society. Activists and academics alike are realizing that a sustainable society must be a just one. Environmental degradation is almost always linked to questions of human equality and quality of life. An environmental justice paradigm will adopt a holistic approach to formulating health policies and regulations, developing risk reduction strategies for multiple, cumulative, and synergistic risks. It will strive to ensure public health, enhance public participation, and promote community empowerment. It will develop innovative public/private partnerships, enhance community-based pollution prevention strategies, and work for community-based sustainable economic development.

March 11, 2003