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Department of Sociology William Julius Wilson Symposium

William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice

Washington State University created the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice in 2009 to honor individuals who promote social inclusiveness and diversity in social policies and strive to reduce joblessness.

The award is named after William Julius Wilson, who received his PhD in sociology from WSU in 1966. Professor Wilson is widely considered one of the nation’s most influential sociologists.

2019 Honoree Robert D. Bullard

The “father of environmental justice,” Robert Bullard presents:
Robert D. Bullard.“The Quest for Environmental, Climate, Racial, and Economic Justice in the United States”
Wednesday, September 25
7:00 p.m.
Compton Union Building (CUB) Junior Ballroom, WSU Pullman
Free • Everyone welcome

Robert D. Bullard is distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University in Houston. He was an expert witness on the 1979 Bean v Southwestern Waste Management Corp. lawsuit, the first of its kind to challenge environmental racism using civil rights law.

Professor Bullard is often called the “father of environmental justice” as his 1979 Solid Waste Sites and Houston Black Community study laid the foundation for four decades of environmental justice research. He is co-founder of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Change Consortium and the author of 18 books. His Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality was the first book to introduce many readers to the field of environmental justice (Westview Press, 1990). His latest books include Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina (2009), Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States (2011), and The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities (2012). In 1990, he received the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award in Science for his groundbreaking book Dumping in Dixie.

Bullard recently was listed among world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy by national public policy group Apolitical. In 2018, the Global Climate Change Summit named him one of 22 Climate Trailblazers. In 2017, the Children’s Environmental Health Network presented him with the Child Health Advocate Award. In 2015, the American Bar Association presented him with its Environmental, Energy, and Resources Stewardship Award. In 2014, the Sierra Club inaugurated an Environmental Justice Award in Bullard’s name and, in 2013, honored him with the John Muir Award. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of “13 Environmental Leaders of the Century.”

About William Julius Wilson

william-julius-wilson_177x181WSU alumnus William Julius Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University. A past president of the American Sociological Association, he has received 46 honorary degrees from institutions across the United States and abroad. A MacArthur Prize Fellow from 1987 to 1992, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, and the British Academy.

Wilson is also a recipient of the 1998 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor bestowed in the United States (and the second sociologist to received the honor). He was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003); the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize by the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2013); the Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Distinguished Career Achievement by the Community and Urban Section of the American Sociological Association (2013); and the WEB DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, the highest award bestowed by the American Sociological Association (2014).

Professor Wilson is the author of numerous publications, including Power, Racism and Privilege: Race Relations in Theoretical and Sociohistorical Perspectives (1973, 1976); The Declining Significance of Race (1978, 1980, 2012), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Sydney Spivack Award; The Truly Disadvantaged (1987, 2012), selected by editors of The New York Times Book Review as one of the 16 best books of 1987, and recipient of The Washington Monthly Annual Book Award, the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ C. Wright Mills Award, and the American Political Science Association’s Aaron Wildavsky Enduring Contribution Award; When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor (1996), selected by The New York Times Book Review editors as a notable book of 1996 and recipient of the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award and the American Political Science Association’s Aaron Wildavsky Enduring Contribution Award; and The Bridge Over the Racial Divide: Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics (1999). He is coauthor of There Goes the Neighborhood: Racial, Ethnic, and Class Tensions in Four Chicago Neighborhoods and Their Meaning for America (2006) and Good Kids in Bad Neighborhoods: Successful Development in Social Context (2006); and author of More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (2009).

He is a member of numerous national boards and commissions, and chaired the boards of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Russell Sage Foundation. Wilson also was a member of President Clinton’s Commission on White House Fellowships (1994-2001).

Download Professor Wilson’s autobiographical article “Reflections on a Sociological Career that Integrates Social Science with Social Policy” »