Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Atlanta Post Lists AAEA President Among Innovators

The Atlanta Post listed 7 Innovative African American Environmentalists

Norris McDonald

Here is what they said about our illustrious prez:
Norris McDonald is head of the African American Environmentalist Association. The organization was actually founded in 1985, and although it has only existed for 26 years, it’s one of the oldest African American-led environmental organizations in the country. The purpose has remained the same: to protect the environment, enhancing human, animal, and plant ecologies, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, and increasing African American participation in the environmental movement.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wanted: Presidential Management Fellows

Opportunity for graduate students to be part of the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program and the U.S. Forest Service

The PMF program is a prestigious, government-wide fellowship that aims to recruit graduate students (masters, law, or doctorate) who demonstrate promise as future leaders into public service. It is a two year program that provides opportunities for leadership and management development and it leads to a permanent job with the Federal Government.

**If you know of any graduate students or graduate programs that would be interested in hearing about this wonderful opportunity, please pass this information to them.**

This is a call for outstanding graduate student candidates of all backgrounds to apply for nomination to the PMF program. This year’s application period is from September 15-25 2011. More information can be found on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) PMF website: .

The PMF program includes opportunities with dozens of federal agencies in many disciplines. However, as a Forest Service PMF, I’d like to share some of the unique aspects of the PMF program in the U.S. Forest Service that distinguish us from other agencies. The Forest Service PMF program provides:

• Entry at high level positions with fast-paced promotion

• Excellent training and developmental opportunities

• Engaged network of current and former PMFs in the Forest Service

• Support for the PMF program from the highest levels of the agency

• Opportunities to work in all regions of the country

Forest Service PMFs include graduates with degrees in natural resource management, law, public policy and planning, environmental studies/sciences, wildlife biology, forestry, landscape architecture, economics, and more. For more information about the Forest Service PMF program, visit our website ( ) or feel free to send an email or call.

A list of key deadlines for the program are at the bottom of this email and can also be found on the OPM website.

Feel free to contact Ms. Lin for advice, assistance, or questions.

Sonja Lin
Program Specialist PMF
USDA Forest Service
Strategic Planning, Budget and Accountability
(202) 205-1616

Approximate Timeline for Class of 2012

( From )

(All deadlines are 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern Time, and subject to change)

NOTE: They are presently finalizing dates for the 2012 application cycle and will update this timeline accordingly. Please check frequently for updates.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 Application for the PMF Class of 2012 opens via a job opportunity announcement on USAJOBS; search for "Presidential Management Fellows"

Sunday, September 25, 2011 Application for the PMF Class of 2012 closes

Friday, September 30, 2011 • Deadline for Nomination Officials to fax nominations

• Deadline for applicants to submit supporting documentation for any claims for Veterans' Preference.

October 1-10, 2011 Invited applicants participate in on-line assessment process

By November 1, 2011 • Applicants notified on eligibility and nomination status

• Semi-finalists selected and notified

• Semi-finalists scheduled and notified for in-person assessments

November 14 - December 16, 2011 In-person assessments conducted for semi-finalists

January 24, 2012 On or around this date, semifinalists notified of Finalist status via email

Late-February/Early- March 2012 PMF Class of 2012 Finalists Job Fair (Washington, DC, metro area)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Natural Resources Defense Council Midwest Advocacy Director

Position Description:  Chicago Office: Background:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a global non-profit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. They have offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Beijing, China. Their staff of over 350 includes lawyers, scientists, economists, and policy experts work to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education.

Specific Role:

The Midwest Advocacy Director will be responsible for building public support to advance NRDC’s strategic priorities and our federal, state, and local policy agenda in the region. The Director will work to build relationships with elected officials, advocacy groups, and other potential allies; coordinate with NRDC programs; and will be responsible for the development and execution of NRDC advocacy, coalition building and grassroots activities in the region. Specific near-term objectives include promoting clean energy policies; protection of the Great Lakes; strong mercury, smog, and carbon standards under the Clean Air Act, and robust support of the Clean Water Act. The Midwest Advocacy Director will be based in NRDC’s Chicago office, and will report jointly to both the Midwest Program Director and the Government Affairs Director.

Major Responsibilities/Activities

• Develop and help manage a robust NRDC network in the Midwest, leverage influence of “Grasstop” supporters, allies and affinity groups on NRDC’s strategic priorities.
• Help develop and oversee strategies, including campaigns, to promote NRDC’s policy objectives in the Midwest.
• Foster a network of relationships with elected and appointed officials, businesses, civic leaders and advocacy groups, and build an advocacy structure to affect and influence decision-makers, opinion leaders and policy experts in the Midwest on NRDC’s strategic priorities.
• Work with NRDC’s government affairs, communications, development, program staff and policy advocates in planning and implementation of NRDC’s governmental and policy advocacy in the Midwest.
• Help foster effective connections between NRDC’s regional and national staff on campaigns and programs.

Specific Role: Major Objectives: Professional Requirements:

• B.S. or B.A. degree in public policy, political science government, or related area; Master’s or J.D. degree preferred;
• At least 10 years experience in government relations, political consulting or legislative practice; Excellent interpersonal skills;
• Demonstrated leadership, management, and administrative skills; and
• Excellent written and oral communications skills required.
• Work experience in government relations and legislative action;
• Practical experience with political campaigns, policy advocacy, or public interest campaigns;
• Practical knowledge of energy policy, public health issues, or environmental regulations desired;
• Practical experience with press and/or social media advocacy desired; and
• Practical knowledge of key political figures and issues in the region.

Personal Requirerments:

NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment and is committed to workplace diversity. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates may send information to: Christine Boulware at

Natural Resources Defense Council is committed to ensuring diversity in its workplace, and candidates from diverse diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. For further information about NRDC, please visit

Friday, August 19, 2011

"I Will Be A Hummingbird" - Wangari Maathai

In this beautifully animated clip from Dirt! The Movie, Wangari Maathai tells an inspiring tale of doing the best you can under seemingly interminable odds.

Wangari, we are doing the best that we can to mitigate wildfires by utilizing fire prevention pre-cuts.  The wood so pre-cut can also be used to generate electricity.  Our Green Electric Project is trying to do just that in Mississippi, California and Kenya.

Our AAEA Kenya Office is fully prepared to implement a wood-energy power plant project.  Come join us.

SELC Seeks Legislative Associate in Washington, DC

The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking a legislative associate with two or more years of experience to join its Government Relations team in Washington, D.C. This is an excellent opportunity to join an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing the Southeast and the nation.

About SELC: With offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; and now Nashville, TN), SELC uses law and policy expertise to protect the South’s natural resources—its land, air, water, coast and wetlands—and to preserve our rural countryside and community character. Although their regional focus is the Southeast, much of their work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works collaboratively with over 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve our common conservation goals. Their legal and policy staff comprises some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields, and over its 25-year history, SELC has earned a reputation as one of the most effective environmental organizations in the country. They currently have a staff of 85, including 44 attorneys. Additional information regarding work and staff.

About the position: SELC’s government relations team works in Congress and federal agencies to advance policy objectives that enhance environmental protection and quality of life in the Southeast. The legislative associate assists the team in implementing SELC’s legislative and regulatory priorities. Duties include monitoring legislative hearings, working with SELC policy and legal staff to develop support materials, representing SELC at coalition meetings, and providing additional support to the legislative team as necessary.

Start date is as soon as possible.

Compensation: The salary range for this position is $38,000 - $42,000, commensurate with experience, and an excellent benefits package.

Qualifications: They are seeking a highly motivated individual with two or more years of experience in legislative and/or environmental policy making, and a strong work ethic and sense of initiative. An advance degree is preferred. The successful applicant will have excellent academic credentials, strong communication and interpersonal skills, a demonstrated ability to work well in a collegial setting, and a strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission.

To Apply: If you have these qualifications and are seeking a challenging and rewarding environmental advocacy position, please send your letter of interest, resume, and at least three references to Nat Mund, Legislative Director, Southern Environmental Law Center, 122 C St. NW, Suite 390, Washington, DC, 20001, or e-mail .

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is continually seeking to diversify its staff. They strongly encourage applications from persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.


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President Obama Issues Diversity Executive Order

President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity.  The executive order directs a group of high-ranking officials to create a government-wide plan, followed by specific plans in each agency.

Whites hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions.

The order creates a framework, but the details have not been worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will participate. They will be responsible for creating a government-wide plan within 90 days. The efforts must reflect initiatives on a number of fronts, including recruitment, training and promotion.

According to the latest Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program Report, women hold 31 percent of senior positions, African Americans 7 percent and Latinos 4 percent. (Wash Post, 8/19/2011)

Black Scientists Less Likely To Get NIH Grants Than Whites

Black scientists are significantly less likely than white researchers to win grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to an NIH-initiated audit released Thursday.  The audit verifies a suspicions inside the agency about bias against African Americans.

The analysis of data from more than 40,000 researchers who submitted more than 80,000 grant applications to NIH between 2000 and 2006 found that only about 16 percent of those from black applicants were approved, compared with about 29 percent of those from white scientists.

Even after the researchers accounted for other factors that could help explain the discrepancy, such as differences in scientists’ education and training, black applicants were still about 10 percentage points less likely than whites to get NIH funding, the researchers reported.

The findings are troubling because they indicate that race remains a significant factor in who gets funding for research into diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other health problems from the premier funder of biomedical research.

NIH’s internal auditing indicates that there is a problem with bias in its scientific review process. The agency initiated and helped fund the study to investigate those concerns.

Officials agreed the new findings were alarming and outlined steps the $31 billion agency will take to try to address the problem.

Only 1.4 percent of applications came fromblack scientists, even though they account for about 12 percent of the U.S. population. Moreover, the applications from black scientists tended to receive poorer scores than those from whites, resulting in bleaker chances of getting funded.  The research showed that if you hold everything else constant and the only thing different between these two investigators is the color of their skin, that person is less likely to get funded.

NIH officials have stated that they intend to take steps to boost the number of black scientists on NIH committees that review grant proposals. Having served on such a committee appears to increase the chances of a researcher later getting a grant, the study found. (Wash Post, 8/19/2011)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

AAEA Kenya Director Named Director at Jahwar Amber Fund

Boaz Adhengo
Jahwar Amber Fund, publisher of the Balozi Journal has appointed Mr. Boaz Adhengo as its Programs Director, a role that could lead to being ‘Editor–in– Chief’ of the Balozi Magazine.

Boaz established the AAEA Kenya Office in 2010.  His role as director will complement the Jahwar Amber Fund and AAEA.  AAEA will provide outreach support for the fund and the fund's journal will provide an additional platform for disemination of AAEA information.

Boaz is the man for the job because he has the unique entrepreneurial qualities to make both institutions a success.  We hope that others will support his efforts by making donations to the fund and AAEA.

The fund was established in 2009 as an effort to steer the realization of Church – State separation in Kenya, focusing greatly on campus projects and consequently diversifying its approach to involve capacity building of like-minded organizations in East Africa.

The next issue of Balozi Journal will focus on “Genetically Modified Organisms,’ highlighting the possible debates en route to ending famine and drought in Africa at large, using successful Kenyan examples and documented cases. This owes to the fact that at this time of the year, Kenya is recording numbers of starved children and the whole region is suffering from food insecurity, which warrants a probable debate on such issues.

Articles are welcomed for submission to be considered on the next issue of Balozi Journal, which is managed by the AAEA Kenya Office.

Sustainable Training Services, LLC

Sustainable Training Services, LLC (STS) was created for two primary purposes:

• To provide economic development and job creation programs and consulting services targeted toward minority communities, organizations and constituencies;

• To develop and deliver quality training to small and minority businesses, communities and individuals to succeed in those economic development and job creation programs.

Additionally, they help coordinate resourcing, training, outreach, partnership development and associated support for the development of the evolving energy efficiency and renewable energy industries and their respective workforces with a goal of personal economic independence and national energy independence.

STS utilizes cutting edge technologies and techniques to increase knowledge and strengthen dialogue between businesses and their customers. Their programs offer real job growth and practical training that presents ideas and strategies small and minority businesses can use every day to improve their operations or advance their career.

Carletta Waddler
A graduate of Howard University, Carletta Waddler is a dynamic and compelling speaker with experience in marketing, and green business concepts. A former owner of a lucrative marketing business, she developed a natural curiosity for the malaise of the environment and its detrimental effects on the health of all living creatures after viewing “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore. She read voraciously, became a green certified consultant and LEED trained. She founded two green businesses… EcoMaintenance, Waddler & Associates. She is the CEO of a joint venture called Sustainability Training Inc.

In 2009, she became the recipient of the North Carolina Green Business Fund Award. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Green Management from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture. Ms. Waddler has dedicated her life to improving the environment for future generations. She has been featured in the Daily Advance as an outstanding “green” female entrepreneur. Her business is a UNC BASE recipient.

Ms. Waddler is currently presenting at many community colleges and universities across North Carolina and the U.S.

• Green Business League Certified Green Consultant

• Green Business Intermediary for North Eastern North Carolina

• LEED Trained Consultant

• Former General Manager of several radio stations in the Hampton Roads, Virginia market

• Marketing Expert and Public Speaker … past clients include The Mariners Museum, International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England, Barbados Tourism Authority, AMISTAD America inc. and the Freedom Schooner Amistad, City of Newport News, City of Portsmouth, Hoop it Up, City of Hampton, Tim Reid Foundation, Opsail 2000, Retail Alliance, Davenport Dukes, and the State of North Carolina

• Recipient of the Echoes of Excellence Broadcast Award

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Southern Environmental Law Center Seeks Energy Attorney

Energy Attorney: Atlanta, Georgia Office

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) is seeking an attorney with four or more years of experience to join a team of ten attorneys working on issues related to energy policy and global warming. The position will be based in our Atlanta, Georgia office, and will focus on work in Georgia and Alabama. This is an excellent opportunity to join an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing the Southeast and the nation.

About SELC: With offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; and now Nashville, TN), SELC uses law and policy expertise to protect the South’s natural resources—its land, air, water, coast and wetlands—and to preserve our rural countryside and community character. Although our regional focus is the Southeast, much of our work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works collaboratively with over 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve our common conservation goals. Our legal and policy staff comprises some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields, and over its 25-year history, SELC has earned a reputation as one of the most effective environmental organizations in the country. We currently have a staff of 85, including 44 attorneys. Additional information regarding our work and staff is available at

About the position: If viewed as a country, SELC’s six-state region would rank 7th in the world in carbon dioxide emissions, due in large part to the region’s heavy reliance on coal to generate electricity. Our Clean Energy and Air team is advocating strategies to reduce the region’s outsized carbon footprint and improve air quality by decreasing reliance on coal generation and promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy resources as alternatives to traditional power plants. This position will involve litigation in state and federal courts and before utility regulatory commissions, and policy analysis and development in various settings at the state and federal levels.

Start date is as soon as possible.

Compensation: SELC offers salaries competitive with leading national environmental non-profits, and an excellent benefits package.

Qualifications: They are seeking an attorney with strong litigation skills and a strong work ethic and sense of initiative. The ideal candidate will be knowledgeable about energy law and policy, and utility regulatory matters. The successful applicant will be a skilled and multi-faceted lawyer with excellent academic credentials, strong communication and interpersonal skills, a demonstrated ability to work well in a collegial setting, and a strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission.

To Apply: If you have these qualifications and are seeking one of the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding environmental advocacy positions available, please send your letter of interest, resume, law school transcript, and at least three references to Colleen Arthur, Southern Environmental Law Center, 201 W. Main Street, Suite 14, Charlottesville, VA 22902, or e-mail.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is continually seeking to diversify its staff. They strongly encourage applications from persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


On Monday afternoon, and Rebuild the Dream announced a campaign to build up a popular movement that could match (if not surpass) the debt reduction crowd in both size and energy. And they have borrowed a concept from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) as their organizing principle.

Van Jones
The campaign, led by Van Jones, President of Rebuild the Dream; Justin Ruben, Executive Director of; and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), among others, is debuting a new Contract for the American Dream. They describe it as "a progressive economic vision crafted by 125,000 Americans … to get the economy back on track." Its debut will involve a nationwide day of action, as well as an ad in The New York Times to run sometime this week. (Huffington Post, 8/8/2011)

We, the American people, promise to defend and advance a simple ideal: liberty and justice... for all. Americans who are willing to work hard and play by the rules should be able to find a decent job, get a good home in a strong community, retire with dignity and give their kids a better life. Every one of us – rich, poor or in-between, regardless of skin color or birthplace, no matter their sexual orientation or gender – has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is our covenant, our compact, our contract with one another. It is a promise we can fulfill – but only by working together.

Today, the American Dream is under threat. Our veterans are coming home to few jobs and little hope on the home front. Our young people are graduating off a cliff, burdened by heavy debt, into the worst job market in half a century. The big banks that American taxpayers bailed out won’t cut homeowners a break. Our firefighters, nurses, cops and teachers – America’s everyday heroes – are being thrown out onto the street.

We believe:

AMERICA IS NOT BROKE. America is rich – still the wealthiest nation ever. But too many at the top are grabbing the gains. No person or corporation should be allowed to take from America while giving little or nothing back. The superrich who got tax breaks and bailouts should now pay full taxes – and help create jobs here, not overseas. Those who do well in America should do well by America.

AMERICANS NEED JOBS, NOT CUTS. Many of our best workers are sitting idle, while the work of rebuilding America goes undone. Together, we must rebuild our country, reinvest in our people and jump-start the industries of the future. Millions of jobless Americans would love the opportunity to become working, tax-paying members of their communities again. We have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis.

To produce this Contract for the American Dream, 131,203 Americans came together online and in their communities. We wrote and rated 25,904 ideas. Together, we identified the 10 most critical steps to get our economy back on track and restore the American Dream:


Rebuild our crumbling bridges, dams, levees, ports, water and sewer lines, railways, roads and public transit. We must invest in high-speed Internet and a modern, energy-saving electric grid. These investments will create good jobs and rebuild America. To help finance these projects, we need national and state infrastructure banks.


We should invest in American businesses that can power our country with innovative technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal systems, hybrid and electric cars, and next-generation batteries. And we should put Americans to work making our homes and buildings energy efficient. We can create good, green jobs in America, address the climate crisis, and build the clean energy economy.


We should provide universal access to early childhood education, make school funding equitable, invest in high-quality teachers, and build safe, well-equipped school buildings for our students. A high-quality education system, from universal preschool to vocational training and affordable higher education, is critical for our future and can create badly needed jobs now.


We should expand Medicare so it’s available to all Americans, and reform it to provide even more cost-effective, quality care. The Affordable Care Act is a good start and we must implement it – but it’s not
enough. We can save trillions of dollars by joining every other industrialized country – paying much less for health care while getting the same or better results.


Americans have a right to fair minimum and living wages, to organize and collectively bargain, to enjoy equal opportunity and to earn equal pay for equal work. Corporate assaults on these rights bring down wages and
benefits for all of us. They must be outlawed.


Keep Social Security sound, and strengthen the retirement, disability, and survivors’ protections Americans earn through their hard work. Pay for it by removing the cap on the Social Security tax, so that upperincome
people pay into Social Security on all they make, just like the rest of us.


End, once and for all, the Bush-era tax giveaways for the rich, which the rest of us – or our kids – must pay eventually. Also, we must outlaw corporate tax havens and tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Lastly, with millionaires and billionaires taking a growing share of our country’s wealth, we should add new tax brackets for those making more than $1 million each year.


Our troops have done everything that’s been asked of them, and it’s time to bring them home to good jobs here. We’re sending $3 billion each week overseas that we should be investing to rebuild America.


A tiny fee of 1/20th of 1% on each Wall Street trade would raise tens of billions of dollars annually with little impact on actual investment. This would reduce speculation, “flash trading,” and outrageous bankers’ bonuses – and we’d have a lot more money to spend on Main Street job creation.


We need clean, fair elections – where no one’s right to vote can be taken away, and where money doesn’t buy you your own member of Congress. We must ban anonymous political influence, slam shut the lobbyists’ revolving door in D.C. and publicly finance elections. Immigrants who want to join in our democracy deserve
a clear path to citizenship. We must stop giving corporations the rights of people when it comes to our elections. And we must ensure our judiciary’s respect for the Constitution. Together, we will reclaim our democracy to get our country back on track

Minorities and Women Business Enterprise Television

Minorities and Women Business Enterprise Television (MWBE.TV) is the first online tv news and information network totally dedicated to business diversity. MWBE TV will be providing breaking news and events that directly and indirectly impacts the women and minority business community. Supplier diversity, small business resources, franchise developement, technology, healthcare and access to capital are some of the topics that will be assiduously explored. MWBE.TV provides the opportunity for diverse MBE and WBE firms and organizations to create a vast digital media network to promote their businesses, organizations and events past and upcoming. Their vision is to build an organic social business network global in scope. They provide dedicated news and information channels for Asian American business, women in business, African American business, Hispanic / Latino business.

In the weeks and months ahead, MWBETV will be broadcasting live streaming webinars geared toward the most essential elements of successful business development. Their experts will be presenting a broad range subjects including, but not limited to, contract procurement, raising capital, doing business abroad, effective technology usage, strategic partnerships, wealth building and franchise opportunities.

MWBETV has established an exclusive one-of-a-kind “Supplier Marketplace” that allows for women and minority-owned businesses to promote themselves to corporations and other potential clients through 1-5 minute videos. This variation of the classic “elevator pitch” allows you to present your company as only you can. Their syndication allows for members to deciminate their media around the Web.

How they can benefit your business:

Keep you up to date on news, programs and policies that impact your business.

Informs you of business organizations and events that can help you promote your business.

Through their exciting new business social network "The MWBE.TVSupplier Marketplace" you will be allowed to leverage your company’s value proposition to corporations and other potential clients and business partners with an effective presentation utilizing their social media applications and viral syndication tools.

They will soon be broadcasting Web based seminars and classes to help improve and strengthen your business.

Provide a broad range of diverse businesses a clearinghouse for networking, exchanging ideas and information and strengthening their positions in the marketplace.

Monday, August 08, 2011

EPA Civil Rights Director Cleared By EPA

Rafael DeLeon Cleared Of Wrongdoing Over 'Pink Elephants' Comment

U.S. EPA has cleared the director of its Office of Civil Rights of wrongdoing after a national whistle-blower group accused him of making sexist and racist remarks amid agency colleagues. On April 20, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) sent EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a letter calling for the dismissal of OCR Director Rafael DeLeon claiming that he called two female civil rights leaders "pink elephants" on an agencywide conference call.

The term "pink elephant" was popularized during the 2008 campaign by then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to refer to women who were outraged with the political status quo. But NWC Legal Director Richard Renner argued in his letter that DeLeon used the term to stereotype and demean women who deviate from expectations of submissiveness. He also charged that DeLeon disrespectfully referred to one of the women, NWC board member Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, as "the Rosa Parks of EPA."

Officials with EPA promised to conduct an internal review of the matter.

In a statement, EPA concluded:

"EPA looked into the allegations and found no basis for any further action."
Instead, the agency took the opportunity to praise the work DeLeon has done to turn around EPA's much-maligned civil rights program. Jackson appointed DeLeon as OCR director late last year.

In an open letter to Jackson last week, Coleman-Adebayo said that DeLeon's dismissal is necessary to fix the "culture of intolerance and retaliation" at the agency.

EPA fired Coleman-Adebayo in 2008 after she refused to come into the office for work because of hypertension and other medical issues. DeLeon was the supervisor who recommended her removal. (Greenwire, 8/8/2011)

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo Issues Open Letter To Lisa Jackson

Open Letter to Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator from Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

August 8, 2011

For Immediate Release

The National Whistleblower Center sent you a letter on April 20, 2011 requesting that you respond to allegations that your new Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Mr. Rafael Deleon, contemptuously disparaged me in a national teleconference by referring to me as a “Pink Elephant” and stating that I considered myself the “EPA Rosa Parks.” Further, Mr. DeLeon also denigrated Susan Morris, a senior civil rights employee by referring to her also as a “Pink Elephant,” and bragging that neither she nor I were at EPA any longer – a bow to his dark humor since he was responsible for my termination and participated in the termination of her 30-year outstanding Federal government career. The Washington Post, Politco, Greenwire, Philadelphia Tribune and several national newspapers reported that the Agency would neither confirm nor deny these reports.

Ms. Jackson, the public has a right to know whether Mr. DeLeon made these sexist and racist comments and more importantly whether you condone his behavior. From my 18-year experience at the Agency, the name calling is symptomatic of a culture of intolerance and retaliation. It has also been brought to our attention that Mr. DeLeon is alleged to have made another inappropriate sexist remark to a woman in a meeting about sitting on her and being accused of “lap dancing.” Administrator Jackson, if these accusations are true, why is Mr. DeLeon still representing you and the Obama Administration and why is he the Agency’s Director of Civil Rights?

If Mr. DeLeon’s reported comments were made, these remarks are consistent with the failing grade cited by the April 20, 2011 Deloitte Report on the state of EPA’s Office of Civil Rights. It is apparent to most women that his remarks show utter contempt for women. Perhaps, more importantly, his remarks reflect an arrogance borne from undeserved power disconnected from public accountability. Mr. DeLeon’s serious problems with women at the Agency have resulted in numerous complaints of discrimination, both while serving as an Acting Director of Civil Rights and Director of Human Resources. You ignored this and appointed him anyway.

The agency has an unenviable track record of rewarding discriminating officials and crushing employees who blow the whistle on corruption. Not surprisingly, Mr. DeLeon’s record since assuming the directorship is egregious and EPA will be headed to District Court again in an effort to defend and justify his putrid behavior against women. Four women are currently either in or headed for court with Mr. DeLeon named as a discriminating official. American taxpayers should be outraged with your decision to appoint Mr. DeLeon who has triggered numerous legal complaints that will ultimately cost taxpayers millions of dollars in compensation at a time when citizens are being asked to tighten their belts.

Ms. Jackson, our community cannot substitute black oppressors for white oppressors or women oppressors for male oppressors. Your silence on this matter is being construed as collaboration with elements within the Agency that have historically abused their power. You are endorsing and shielding the worst rogue elements within the agency, the gatekeepers who have fostered a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation at EPA. This culture has characterized every administration since the time I joined EPA in 1990.

I would urge you to seize this opportunity, this moment, to distinguish yourself as the antidote to that long, unfortunate string of disembodied administrators whose first priority was creating a public relations window dressing over genuine concerns for the public, employee integrity and environmental protection.

I would encourage you to start by releasing the outcome of your investigation. If your investigation reveals that Mr. DeLeon did, in fact, abuse American citizens/women, he does not deserve to hold the position in the Office of Civil Rights. If you have not had the opportunity to consider the seriousness of this situation, we ask that you review the Website .


Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, PhD

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, PhD

Contact: 240-731-9577

Cc: President Barrack Obama
Senator Harry Reid
Senator Mitch McConnell
Congressman John Boehner
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Ms. Amy Dewey, Office of Public Affairs

Saturday, August 06, 2011

"Diary Of An Environmentalist: Norris McDonald Autobiography"

Purchase Book

Book Description

My name is Norris McDonald and I am an environmentalist. I was the first black environmentalist to work as a professional in the Washington, D.C-based environmental movement. Part of me tires of the 'first black' moniker, but I guess it is still important in the context of America's history. I hope to also provide some insight into the history of the environmental movement and the environmental justice movement. I formed the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy and its outreach arm, the African American Environmentalist Association in 1985.

I started as a young man in his mid twenties and now I am a man in his mid fifties. I went looking for a job on Capitol Hill in 1979 after I graduated from Wake Forest University. I answered an ad in The Washington Post to work for an environmental group. It was two blocks from Capitol Hill so I figured it would be a good stepping stone to getting a job in a congressional office. I was just delighted to be in the political power center of the world. I had no idea at that time that I would make a career out of working on environmental and energy issues.

Now I have been working as an environmentalist for over 30 years. I have been committed to be a good steward to our planet and to work for improvements in local neighborhoods. It has been gratifying and I am delighted to have found my calling in life. Of course, life throws you curve balls that make it interesting. I did not anticipate becoming a chronic, acute asthmatic and a single parent. Plus, my personal worldview has probably limited my success, but I would not change it because it is rooted in my belief in God.

This book is dedicated to my father, Sandy Norris McDonald, Sr., my mother Katie Louvina Best, and my son Sandy Norris McDonald, III.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

EPA Awards Chemical Screening Contracts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ToxCast chemical screening program has awarded contracts to four United States-based companies to test up to 10,000 chemicals for potential toxicity to people and the environment. ToxCast is designed to determine how chemical exposures affect human health. When fully implemented, ToxCast will be able to screen thousands of chemicals in fast, cost-effective tests.

The four companies will initially screen up to 1,000 chemicals currently in the ToxCast program using innovative technologies such as stem cell toxicity tests. These new technologies can quickly determine the potential for a chemical to cause harm to the human body. Screening results from the new technologies will be combined with data already being generated by the other 500 rapid chemical tests used by EPA’s ToxCast program.

The chemicals ToxCast is now screening are found in industrial and consumer products, food additives and drugs. ToxCast’s goal is to reduce EPA’s reliance on slow and expensive animal toxicity tests, enabling the agency to screen chemicals more quickly and to predict and identify potential risks to Americans.

EPA scientific studies using ToxCast have already been published in peer-reviewed science journals, and demonstrate the ability of ToxCast to predict a chemical’s potential to cause several diseases.

The four companies awarded the contracts have offices throughout the country and plan to hire new scientific staff to help with the project. The companies are Vala Sciences, Cee Tox, CellzDirect and BioReliance. Two of the companies, Vala Sciences and BioReliance are small businesses based in San Diego, Calif. and Kalamazoo, Mich. All four companies plan to hire new employees as a result of these contracts. (EPA)

More information on ToxCast

More information on ToxCast database

Monday, August 01, 2011

Activists Dr. Faye Williams & Dick Gregory on the BP Disaster

One Year Later

Audio Link

Dr. E. Faye Williams, left, and Activist and Comedian Dick Gregory, right, discuss the BP oil spill with Baton Rouge talk show host, Jim Engster.

They have launched a campaign to make sure low income workers who cannot afford attorneys are not left out of the claims process. (Public Media Exchange, 7/20/2011)

Blacks Get Short End Of Stick In New York Set-Aside Contracts

Blacks have trouble competing in the private sector largely because of continued discrimination.  That is why government set-aside programs are necessary to 'allow Blacks to do some business.'  But these programs usually fall far short of putting dollars into black business coffers.  New York City's contracting set-aside program is about par for the course. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council approved a law in 2005 that set voluntary goals for awarding a certain percentage of contracts to businesses registered as owned by minorities or women.

In the last year and a half, about three-quarters of city dollars paid to contractors participating in the program went to companies owned by either Asian Americans or white women. Businesses run by Latinos received 15% of that pool of money. The smallest share, 7%, went to black-run firms. Overall, of the $28 billion paid to prime contractors since January 2010, less than 3% went to companies registered as minority or women-owned. Within that 3%—a pool of $700 million —40% went to firms certified as Asian American. And about 35% of that went to firms owned by white women.

A Long Island staffing agency with $5 million in contracts in 2010 was the black-owned certified company with the highest amount.

Bloomberg aides say the data are misleading, noting that the figures don't account for hundreds of millions going to minority subcontractors or firms that did not register with the program. The figures also don't account for contracts to nonprofits. City officials say black-run businesses have secured a larger and increasing share of sub-contract dollars. In 2010, black-certified firms won 20% of subcontract dollars awarded to firms participating in the program.

Clearly there needs to be a program targeted specifically to Black businesses.  Until the private sector is more user-friendly to Black businesses, such government programs will remain necessary.  (WSJ, 8/1/2011)