Sending Office: Honorable Bobby L. Rush
I invite you in joining me to honor Hazel M. Johnson, who is widely known as the mother of environmental justice and the associated movement.
Beginning in 1970s Chicago, Johnson led the fight for environmental justice and created the People for Community Recovery, an organization which fights for a safer environment. Johnson and the People for Community Recovery fought to educate and empower
residents on the Southside of Chicago, by providing workshops and trainings, conducting health surveys, rallying residents to protest contamination, and working with youth in the community.
Johnson used her vigilance and activism to give low-income minority communities a voice and a stake in the environmental justice fight by focusing the conversation on personal, immediate, and urgent concerns which directly impacted communities inhabited
by people of color. Johnson also strove to hold both businesses and the government responsible for how their actions impact the environment and surrounding communities.
Johnson received the 1992 President’s Environment and Conservation Challenge award in recognition of her environmental justice work, and she was instrumental in pressuring President Clinton to sign the Environmental Justice Executive Order, which holds the
federal government accountable for urban communities exposed to pollution.
Hazel M. Johnson was a visionary, who was able to foresee the impacts of failing to address environmental and social justice conditions. As such, I hope you will join me in honoring Hazel M. Johnson for her achievements and contributions to the environmental
justice movement by:
- Posthumously awarding her the Congressional Gold Medal (H.R. 5340); and
- Creating a commemorative postage stamp (H.R. 5343).
Bobby L. Rush
Member of Congress
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