TIME Magazine recognizes Texas Southern University professor for climate activism

Dr. Robert Bullard is also known as “The Father of Environmental Justice.”

HOUSTON — In honor of Earth Day, TIME magazine has recognized Texas Southern University Professor Dr. Robert Bullard as an Earth Award winner. 

The honor recognizes 100 individuals who influence the future of the planet through climate justice, awareness and activism.

Dr. Bullard is also known as “The Father of Environmental Justice.” This is in part because of his groundbreaking work in 1979 that led to a lawsuit charging the location of Houston landfills was discriminatory and amounted to environmental racism.

He has written 18 books on environmental issues that impact low income and minority communities. 

He said “Highway Robbery” is about highways causing that problem. He’s been a strong opponent of the I-45 expansion project in Houston. 

Dr. Bullard’s latest case is in his own Alabama hometown. Bullard said the construction of US Highway 84 causes the community of Shiloh, with its dozen homes, to flood.

“This is the only stretch of that highway that’s flooded and because of that, that fact alone sets it as an example, that this is a case where the government did not take care and in terms of protecting the community,” Bullard said.

He wants the homeowners to be compensated for their losses and the highway fixed. 

Bullard’s work has also gotten his center a $50 million Evironmental Protection Agency grant to help eight states with environmental problems. 

That money will be used to award grants of up to $350,000 to help communities write their own grants requesting money for everything from solar projects to air quality improvement.

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