Celebrating the Achievements of Black Environmentalists

During Black History Month, it's important to celebrate the achievements and legacies of Black scholars, activists, artists, and more. And at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, we believe in celebrating the work of these changemakers not only during the month of February but year-round.

Black environmentalists have made some of the most significant and long-lasting changes to the parks and recreation field and environmentalist movement by creating a welcoming space for all in nature while educating audiences about the challenges many People of Color face.

Today, it's essential to recognize these accomplishments and express our gratitude to those who work tirelessly to make an impact. So here are some of the most influential and inspirational Black environmentalists active today.

Empty headingRue Mapp

Rue Mapp is the founder and CEO of OutdoorAfro, a not-for-profit organization on a mission to celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature. With over 100 leaders in 56 cities across the country, OutdoorAfro is committed to connecting people to nature experiences. Also a recipient of the 24th Heinz Award for the Environment, Jefferson Award, and National Conservation Achievement Award for Communications, Mapp is a well-respected public land advocate and inspirational speaker.

Dr. Robert Bullard

Robert Bullard is an author, academic, and activist. He's also known as "the father of environmental justice." Bullard has written eighteen books discussing important topics regarding sustainability such as sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, community reinvestment, housing, climate justice, and more. Additionally, Bullard is a co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium and the recipient of many awards such as the Global Climate Action Summit's "Climate Trailblazer," Apolitical's "100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy", and Washington State University's "William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Justice," to name a few.

Jeannine Kayembe

Jeannine Kayembe is a writer, painter, musician, and co-founder of LifeDoGrow Urban Farm in North Philadelphia. Founded in 2010 by the Urban Creators, a diverse group of young artists and activists who use food, art, and education to facilitate a culture of resilience and self-determination in local neighborhoods, LifeDoGrow is an urban farm and community hub to organize sustainable change. Through her work with LifeDoGrow, Kayembe aims to bring environmental justice initiatives closer to neighborhoods by creating space to cultivate healthy food, public art, and community networks.

This post was written by Neil Bradley, Intern for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.