(OurTimePress.com) Dr. Beverly Wright, Ph.D, executive director of the New Orleans-based Deep South Center for Environmental Justice which she founded in 1992, has been appointed by President Biden to his White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. In this role, Dr. Wright joins other appointees in advising President Biden and Vice President Harris on how to address current and past injustices to minority and low-income communities.
Dr. Wright, a longtime environmental justice activist and scholar, has won numerous awards for her work, including the 2008 EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award. Her Deep South Center focuses on health inequities and environmental racism along the Louisiana/Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and Gulf Coast region.
After Hurricane Katrina, August 2005, Dr. Wright, a victim in the wake of the devastation, became an outspoken advocate for displaced New Orleans’ residents, fighting for the safe return of community members. In an interview with Yale, Dr. Wright said that racial justice must be at the center of climate justice, and Hurricane Katrina revealed how inequity “worsens the impacts of extreme weather” for under served communities.
Over the years, Dr. Wright has conducted groundbreaking research in the area of environmental justice and she has developed a curriculum for use at the elementary school level that has been used by the New Orleans Public Schools. At the Center, she manages Hazardous Waste Worker Training Programs that embrace a work-based curriculum and a holistic approach to learning for young men and women living near Superfund and Brownfield sites resulting in their employment.
The WHEJAC was established by President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad to fulfill his and Vice President Harris’s commitment to confronting long standing environmental injustices. It was also created to ensure that historically marginalized and overburdened communities have greater input on federal policies and decisions for Environmental Justice. Read more here.