Dr. Robert D. Bullard

Robert Bullard

Leading Expert on Environmental Justice
Sunday, June 5
» Full bio

Dr. 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, a distinguished professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, a founding director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, and co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University and is a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

Over the years, Dr. Bullard has received numerous honors and awards. In 2020, WebMD gave him its Health Heroes Trailblazer Award. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) honored him with its Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment.

In July 2007, he was featured as one of CNN’s “People You Should Know,” and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). In 2010, theGrio named him one of the "100 Black History Makers in the Making" and Planet Harmony named him one of Ten African American Green Heroes.

Dr. Bullard is an award-winning author of eighteen books and co-author of three. His latest books include "Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina"; "Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States"; and "The Wrong Complexion for Protection."

Initiated in 2014, this annual lecture is presented in honor of Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, who worked throughout his life to bring about healing for all people, especially the most vulnerable. The retired auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., died in June of 2013.

During his long career in ministry, Bishop Sullivan led Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, and from the early days of the AIDS epidemic, he continued to call for better care and services for persons living with HIV and AIDS. His concern for suffering people across the globe was evident in his ten years of service with Catholic Medical Mission Board. He was passionately committed to access to quality health care for all people. 

Bishop Sullivan served on the Board of Trustees of CHA beginning in 1984, and he chaired the board in 1990-1991. From 2000 to 2008, he was episcopal liaison to CHA from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At the time of his death, Bishop Sullivan was a member of the board of Mercy health system (Chesterfield, Mo.), which he chaired from 2004 to 2007.

With warmth, wit and expansive knowledge, this man of deep faith was a lifelong champion for his sisters and brothers in need.