Hazel Johnson: Mother of Environmental Justice Exhibit at Harold Washington Library Center

Hazel Johnson and Al Gore Box 62 Photo 20
Hazel Johnson and Vice President Gore, 1994. Source: People for Community Recovery Archives, Box 62. Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.

Hazel Johnson: Mother of Environmental Justice is on display until October 31 in the Popular Library on the ground floor of Harold Washington Library Center. This exhibit examines the legacy of Chicagoan Hazel Johnson, an environmental activist who founded People for Community Recovery.

People for Community Recovery (PCR) is a community organization in the Chicago Housing Authority's Altgeld Gardens on Chicago's far southeast side. Founded in 1979, PCR demanded cleanup of toxic waste surrounding the community and pressed for repair work. Johnson became a national leader in the fight for environmental change. She advised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and urged President Clinton to sign his executive order on environmental justice. Her organization coined the term "environmental racism."

The exhibit contains reproductions of materials from the People for Community Recovery Archives housed in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. The exhibit was previously displayed at Woodson Regional Library.