Richard Mabion was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, and served a 2-year tour of duty for the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict (66-68). He graduated from Phillip University in 1971 with a BS in Education and a minor in Psychology. He then spent the next three decades as a self-taught urban/inner-city human behaviorist in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri.
Since 2006 he has worked as an independent community organizer in the environmental movement in Kansas City, metropolitan region. 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 responsibility that led to the creation of an Environmental Literacy conference called Breaking The Silence from 2007 – 2012.
As a result of his efforts, the Pitch News organization selected Richard as their 2008-Activist of the year for 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. Then in 2016, he was selected as the man of the year for the EPA Region 7 Environmental Justice department.
In 2019, Cornell University selected Richard from over 600 applications to join this small community of 40 professionals from 28 countries dedicated to climate change mitigation.