Sylvia Hood Washington’s pioneering book, "Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954," documents how generations of Chicago's poor, working class and ethnic minority residents have suffered disproportionately from the harmful effects of pollution.
A scholar trained in technology, the environment and medicine, Washington will talk about her work on February 12 when she presents Sustainable Justice for Marginalized Communities, this year’s Martin Luther King Jr.
Intercultural Lecture at Elmhurst College.
Washington teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and recently was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to sit on Illinois’ first Environmental Justice Commission. She also is the founder of and chief environmental research scientist for Environmental Health Research Associates, LLC.
As an environmental epidemiologist, engineer and historian, Washington has spent decades researching the impact of industrial pollution on human health and ecosystems. She also consults regularly with environmental law firms and grass roots community groups to help them understand the history and impact of industrial operations, transportation systems and municipal planning on human health and environmental health disparities.
Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts college located eight miles west of Chicago. The College’s mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,400
full- and part-time students are enrolled in its 23 undergraduate academic departments and 10 graduate degree programs.