2014, The Year Of Justice

As we approach the celebration of the 85th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth, we think about what was, what is, and what is yet to come. The year 2014 has a special significance for racial justice and civil rights: It is the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision; the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the 20th anniversary of the historic Environmental Justice Executive Order signed by President Bill Clinton.

“Environmental justice” may be a term you haven’t considered before. According to Robert Bullard, who wrote a book in 1990 entitled Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality, environmental justice concerns the “unfair, unjust and inequitable conditions and decisions” that subject “blacks, low-income groups and working-class persons… to a disproportionately large amount of pollution and other environmental stressors in their neighborhoods as well as in their workplaces.”

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