Legacy of Dr. Henry Clark to be honored at Celebration of Life

Legacy of Dr. Henry Clark to be honored at ‘Celebration of Life’
Dr. Henry Clark

By Kathy Chouteau

A “Memorial Service Celebration of Life” will be held for the late Henry Arthur Clark, Ph.D. Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lucky A’s North Richmond Baseball Field, 925 Fred Jackson Way in Richmond. A North Richmond native, Dr. Clark passed away June 2, 2022; his legacy as a trailblazer of the environmental justice movement prevails.

During the service and celebration, a number of Dr. Clark’s friends and associates will share their remembrances of him, including historian Doug Harris, Richmond City Councilmember Nathaniel Bates, Neighborhood House’s Lloyd Madden, Community Housing Development Corporation’s Don Gilmore, Chevron colleagues and representatives from the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council and the Office of Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

Also honoring Dr. Clark’s memory that day will be musical and dance performances, as well as community orators. The Dr. Henry A. Clark Community Leadership Award will be given out that day in the spirit of honoring his legacy. Food and refreshments will be available to-go at the service and celebration.

Dr. Henry Clark (left) attends the Chevron Richmond Black Employee Network’s Black History Awareness celebration in February 2020.

Growing up in North Richmond, Dr. Clark’s roots there ran deep. He was engaged in community activism since his youth, and in addition to his focus on environmental justice, he was also dedicated to improving the quality of life of North Richmond residents, according to the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council.

During his lifetime, Dr. Clark helped found the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) and the West County Toxics Coalition. He also worked for Neighborhood House of North Richmond and collaborated with environmental justice organizations such as Communities for a Better Environment and Asian Pacific Environmental Network, per the advisory council, which referred to him as “a pioneer” who has “changed the environmental justice narrative in Richmond and around the world.”

Also notable is Dr. Clark’s “central role in supporting the environmental and safety commitments made by Chevron Richmond, including the relatively recent Refinery Modernization Project,” according to the advisory council. The Modernization Project, approved by the Richmond City Council in 2014, replaced some of the refinery’s oldest processing equipment with newer technologies, rendering it safer and able to meet stringent air quality standards, and included a $90 million Community Benefits Package for local projects such as the Richmond Promise college scholarship and guidance program.

As a young man, Dr. Clark attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Francisco State University; during his time as a student, he became involved with the Civil Rights Movement and Free South Africa, according to the advisory council.

Dr. Henry Clark’s service and celebration is sponsored by Chevron and Chris Hammond and Associates.