Episode 8 Guests:
Raúl Grijalva began his career in public service as a community organizer in Tucson. Four decades later, he continues to be an advocate for those in need and a voice for the constituents of his home community. From 1974 to 1986, Raúl served on the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, including six years as Chairman. In 1988, he was elected to the Pima County Board of Supervisors, where he served for the next 15 years, chairing the Board for two of those years. Raúl resigned his seat on the Board of Supervisors in 2002 to seek office in Arizona’s newly created Seventh Congressional District. Despite a nine-candidate primary and the challenge of being outspent three-to-one by his closest competitor, Raúl was elected with a 20-point victory, thanks to a diverse coalition of supporters that led the largest volunteer-driven election effort in Arizona.
Throughout his career, Raúl has always fought for underrepresented voices. The passions that drove him as a School Board member to fight for and succeed at implementing bilingual education in Arizona are the same passions that motivated him to help pass the first bond package containing a $10 million commitment to reinvest in older, poorer neighborhoods while he was a County Supervisor. Likewise, they are what drive him today as he fights to reform our broken immigration system, ensure livable wages for American workers, and create vital land protections to safeguard our nation’s natural treasures for the next generation.
In 2014, Raúl was elected Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee by his Democratic colleagues on the committee. He also serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as a long-standing member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an Associate Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park. Dr. Wilson has over 15 years of experience as environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-based participatory research, water quality analysis, air pollution studies, built environment, industrial animal production, climate change, community resiliency, and sustainability. As Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative, he works primarily in partnership with community-based organizations using citizen science to study and address environmental justice and health issues and translate research to action.
Dr. Wilson has been very active professionally as an environmental justice advocate. He is a Co-Founder of the DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) Environmental Justice Coalition. He is a member of the USEPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a past Chair of the APHA Environment Section, on the Board of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, a former member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC NCEH/ATSDR, and former Chair of the Alpha Goes Green Initiative, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is also a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program.
Dr. Wilson has received many awards for his contributions and achievements as an environmental justice researcher and advocate. He received a 2018 Audubon Naturalists Society Taking Nature Black Environmental Champion Award. He also received the APHA Environment Section Damu Smith Environmental Justice Award in 2015. From the University of Maryland School of Public Health, he received the George F. Kramer Practitioner of the Year Award (2014-2015) and the Muriel R. Sloan Communitarian Award (2012-2013). He received a USEPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award given to Low Country Alliance for Model Communities, North Charleston, SC and Mitigation Agreement Committee. Additionally, Dr. Wilson received the Steve Wing International Environmental Justice Award in 2008.
Editorial Board, Environmental Justice
Editorial Board, Citizen Science
Senior Fellow, Environmental Leadership Program (Class of 2005)
Our host Rev Yearwood shares some inspiring real-talk with United States Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), who for decades has been fighting for justice, equity, and accountability at home in the southwest and in the halls of Congress. The electrifying and Dr. Sacoby Wilson from the University of Maryland School of Public Health also drops by to discuss environmental justice, education, and science’s critical role in protecting our health, communities, and planet.