Beverly Wright Honored with National Heinz Award

drwright_articleKudos to Dr. Wright for her national honor from the Heinz Foundation
A leading scholar on and advocate for environmental justice, Beverly Wright is honored with the Heinz Award for her work on behalf of communities, especially those in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.” As head of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans, she has been tackling issues of environmental racism and working to raise the profile of environmental issues in poor and minority communities nationwide.

Since Hurricane Katrina, much of her work at the Deep South Center has focused on research, policy and community outreach as well as assistance and education of displaced African-American residents of New Orleans. Dr. Wright, who is a professor of sociology, lost her own home to Katrina and has been an advocate of the safe return of residents, addressing the critical issues of health and environmental restoration and monitoring fairness as it relates to standards of clean up.

After 200 sites around the city identified elevated lead and arsenic levels, Dr. Wright forged a unique partnership with the U.S. Steelworkers to launch a proactive pilot neighborhood clean-up project. The project, called A Safe Way Back Home, trained more than 60 small businesses and contractors in hazardous waste removal, mold remediation and health and safety methods, and trained hundreds of volunteers from around the country to assist community residents in the clean-up and return to their devastated homes.

As the founding director of one of the first university-based environmental justice organizations, Dr. Wright has been at the forefront of the movement. She had an early leadership role in forging national policy to eliminate disparities involving environmental concerns and has remained steadfast in the movement’s leadership since day one.

Mississippi River Avatar Advisory Board

Bishop James Black
Biloxi, MS

"From the 1960's protesting to professing the gospel-civil justice and economic empowerment of my people has been a life pursuit."

Elodia Blanco
Concerned Citizens of Agriculture Street Landfill
New Orleans, LA

She is a focused determined leader who is driven by the desie to ensure that all people have the right to live and raise their families in an environmentally safe community.

Mary Boler
Parents Outreach Network for Youth
Destrehan, LA

A community activist who works hard to educate young people in environmental careers to ensure the next generation is prepared to address environmental issues.

Richard Burton
St. James Citizens for Jobs and the Environment
Convent, LA

Priscilla Edwards
Central City Economic Opportunity
New Orleans, LA

BOLD ENOUGH TO LEAD AND STRONG ENOUGH TO DELIVER. All of this energy is used to enhance the Centeal City community.

Edward Jackson
Ascension Parish Citizens Aainst Toxins
Geismar, LA

Involved in the environmental justice movement since 1958 and is continuously striving to make a difference in the Geismar community.

Charlotte Keys
Jesus People Agains Pollution
Columbia, MS

"My primary task is to obtain environmental health services and generate self-help housing programs with sustainable economic development for toxic exposed communities, to achieve environmental justice.

Margie Richard
Concerned Citizens for Norco
Norco, LA

A retired teacher and community activist she has worked for many years to improve the quality of life in her small community and all communites surrounded by industry.ˇ She has traveled from South Africa to the Neatherlands speaking for all who suffer from environmental injustice.ˇ In all aspects of her community work she involves children so that they will learn to make a difference in the world in which they live.

Gloria Roberts
St. James Citizens for Jobs and Environment
Convent, LA

A community activist involved in all facets of the environment and community concerns.

King Wells
Central City Economic Opportunity
New Orleans, LA

Concerned with economic development of Central City and the provisions of business and job opportunities for the area residents.

Emelda West

St. James Citizens for Jobs and Environment
Convent, LA

A grandmother, community activist, and world traveler,she has fought to guarantee all children the right to live in a toxic-free environment.

Eloise Williams

Concerned Citizens of Algiers
New Orleans, LA

A human rights activist fighting for the rights of all people.