The Environmental Justice Exchange: A tribute to Hazel Johnson, the Mother of Environmental Justice

At Printers Row Lit Fest on September 10, 2022, host Brett Chase was joined by guests Cheryl Johnson, Tarnynon Onumonu and Luis Carranza to pay homage to Hazel Johnson’s life and legacy.

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Brought to you by The Chicago Community Trust:

On this special episode of The Environmental Justice Exchange, host and Sun-Times environmental reporter, Brett Chase, was joined in-person at the 2022 Printers Row Lit Fest to pay homage to Hazel M. Johnson.

Hazel M. Johnson, the “mother of environmental justice,” started an environmental justice movement when she noticed that her neighbors on the South Side were suffering from physical ailments associated with pollution, toxins and poor living conditions. 

She founded the environmental and human rights organization, People for Community Recovery, in 1979, which publicized the environmental issues that were disproportionately affecting low-income households and people of color. 

At Printers Row Lit Fest, Brett Chase was joined by several guests to honor Hazel Johnson’s life and legacy: 

  • Cheryl Johnson, Hazel’s daughter and executive director of People for Community Recovery
  • Tarnynon Onumonu, poet and author of Greetings from the Moon, the Sacrificial Side
  • Luis Carranza, poet and author of Viva la Resistencia

Watch their conversation now.

This event is made possible by the generous support of The Chicago Community Trust.

The Environmental Justice Exchange was one of four panels hosted by Chicago Public Media at Printers Row Lit Fest. To watch other panels, visit the Sun-Times’ Printers Row Lit Fest 2022 playlist

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