The Mother of the Environmental Justice movement, Hazel Johnson, was honored at the 5th Annual Environmental Justice in America Conference 2011. The tribute was delivered by Dr. Benjamin Chavis at a reception during the first day of the EJ conference. Hazel Johnson died on January 12, 2011.
Hazel Johnson's daughter, Cheryl Johnson, flew in from Chicago to participate in the tribute to her mother. Cheryl delivered heart-felt comments about her mother and how much she meant, not only to herself, but to the residents of Argelt Gardens in Chicago and the environmental justice movement.
The ceremony was touching. It reminded attendees about the contributions to the EJ movement that Hazel provided. She was not dubbed 'Mother of Environmental Justice' for no reason. President Obama cut his teeth as a 'community organizer' under the tutelage of Hazel. Too bad that he did not recognize Hazel in his book. There is plenty of time for President Obama to correct this omission.