Solutionary Perspectives: Richard Mabion on Environmental Justice and Intermodal Freight Impacts in Kansas City, KS


"Solutionary Perspectives" is a new video podcast series featuring the perspectives of Solutionary Rail allies and stakeholders, and is hosted by Bill Moyer and Diane Wittner. Our guest, Richard Mabion of Kansas City, Kansas is the the founder of Building A Sustainable Earth Community and Breaking The Silence. Richard spoke about his experiences as an environmental justice advocate and the impact of freight and diesel exhaust in one of America's major crossroads.  He spoke about Solutionary Rail as an organizing tool and answered a range of questions from listeners.

Thank you to Richard and all those who participated, to the series producer Diane Wittner, and video editor Sarah Palm.

Forward Together!

The Solutionary Rail Team


Richard Mabion is the founder of  Building A Sustainable Earth Community and the conference Breaking The Silence .  Richard was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas.  He served a 2-year tour of duty for the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict (66-68), after which he graduated from college in 1971 with a BS in Education and a minor in Psychology. He then spent the next three decades as a self-taught urban social engineer and businessman, in both Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri.  Since 2006 he has worked as an independent community organizer in the environmental movement, in Kansas City, Kansas.  

In 2007 he founded an Environmental Literacy organization called Building A Sustainable Earth Community.  He has since then been recognized for his commitment to involve more people of color in environmental causes; a commitment that lead to the creation of an Environmental Literacy conference called Breaking The Silence.

As a result of his efforts, the Pitch News organization selected J-14 Inc., an organic farm and the “Q” Brew Coffee Shop, two Black owned Quindaro businesses that Richard personally promoted, as their choice for ‘the best of’ in Kansas City in 2007, and then Richard himself as their 2008-Activist of the year for the state of Kansas.  

In 2011 Building A Sustainable Earth Community was one of two organizations selected by the Midwest Sociological Society for its’ annual Social Action Award, given to exceptional grassroots organizations working to further social justice in the Midwest.  

In January 2012, the Kansas Sierra Club elected him as their first statewide Black Board member.  Then in 2013, the National Sierra Club, selected Richard as their 2013 Achiever of the Year. In 2014, The Kansas City, Kansas NAACP Branch elected Richard as the president of their Branch.  He ran on an Environmental Literacy ticket..

The in 2016 he along with Margaret May were selected as the man & women of the year for the EPA Region 7 Environmental Justice department.