Washington, D.C., United States of America - August 31, 2011: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the edge of the Tidal Basin on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Tourists circle the monument in late summer, less than a week after it opened.

Dorceta Taylor to deliver MLK Lecture Jan. 21 at SNRE

Dorceta Taylor is delivering the annual MLK Lecture at the School of Natural Resources and Environment as part of the school’s Dean's Speaker Series.

Taylor is a professor of Environmental Justice at SNRE. She also is founder and director of the Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative, which aims to increase diversity in environmental organizations as well as the broader environmental movement. It also promotes greater diversity in leadership in the environmental field.

Her lecture is titled "Race, Poverty, and Access to Food in America: Resistance, Survival, and Sustainability." It begins at 5 p.m. in Room 1040, Dana Building. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session and is open to the public.

Her research interests include urban agriculture and food security; green jobs; social movement analysis; environmental justice; leisure and natural resource use; poverty; and race, gender, and ethnic relations.

Taylor is the principal investigator on a five-year, $4 million study of disparities in access to healthy food across the state. The researchers will interview residents and study data in 18 small to mid-sized cities to better understand the factors affecting "food security," a socioeconomic term that defines easy access to safe and healthy food.

And because urban agriculture is seen as part of the solution to food insecurity in cities, the researchers will study how locally grown food can more easily get to the poor, traditionally minority, populations most at risk.

"The study will give us an opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of several types of food systems in the state," Taylor said. "The study is unique in that we will examine aspects of the food system that are necessary to connect food to consumers more efficiently."

Other recent research activities have included an analysis of the green jobs sector and four national studies of racial and gender diversity in the environmental field. Her 2009 book, "The Environment and the People in American Cities," is an award-winning urban environmental history book. In 2010, she completed an edited volume titled, "Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective."

And she just completed a book to be published in 2013 titled, "Why Don’t They Move?  Race, Space, Residential Mobility, and Environmental Hazards." She also has another completed manuscript under review titled, "Power, Privilege, and Environmental Protection: Social Inequality and the Rise of the American Conservation Movement."