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Partner Webinar: Stewart Udall and the Politics of Environment and Race
May 20 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Stewart Udall left a profound impact on land conservation and racial issues. As the U.S. Interior Secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations he successfully advocated for the creation of many national parks and monuments, and encouraged Lady Bird Johnson to undertake a national beautification program. He led the way for most of the environmental legislation we now take for granted, including the Clean Air and Water and Wilderness Acts, Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails Acts, and the National Historical Preservation Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He also fought for pesticide reduction and mining reclamation, endangered species protection, gas mileage requirements, and rapid transit systems.
By no means was his work limited to the land. As Secretary and in his private life Udall also worked for racial justice. He fought successfully to end Jim Crow era segregation at the University of Arizona and broke with the Mormon Church over its refusal to allow Blacks in the priesthood. As Secretary, he hired the first African American rangers in our national parks, forced the Washington Redskins (now the Washington Football Team) to integrate their team, championed self-determination for Native Americans, and fought for redress and compensation for Navajo uranium miners and other victims of the atomic age.
Discussing this transformative yet underappreciated figure will be John de Graaf, director of the upcoming PBS film “Stewart Udall and the Politics of Beauty.”