If you're like many Americans, Bunyan Bryant may be one of the most important contemporary leaders that you've never heard of.
Raised in the South in the shadow of Jim Crow, Bryant moved north with his family as part of the historic Great Migration. There he discovered that prejudice and discrimination continued to limit his opportunities. College changed his life. He became an educational reformer, an antiwar activist, a students' rights advocate, and a participant in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
He discovered his deepest calling when the University of Michigan asked him to help run its pioneering Environmental Advocacy Program. Through U-M’s Environmental Justice Initiative, which he directed, Bryant and his students helped poor communities across America fight dangerous practices like strip mining and demand fair treatment from businesses and government. Bryant went on to travel the world, studying and supporting battles for environmental and social justice. He pushed agencies like the EPA to take the problem of environmental equity seriously, and he mentored a generation of passionate young advocates that are carrying on his work today.
Now Bunyan Bryant tells his own story in Educator and Activist from Rivertowns Books. "Readers will be swept up in the intensity of this remarkable narrative," says Publishers Weekly BookLife, which also calls the book "A moving account of a lifelong fight to protect minorities from environmental injustice.” And Kirkus Reviews calls it “An astute, affecting remembrance of an eventful life and time.”
In these times of continuing struggle for social justice, the life, work, and message of Bunyan Bryant are more relevant than ever.