Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo on Tavis Smiley Show

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo appears on the Tavis Smiley Show tonight to discuss her new book, "No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA."

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, left, was a senior policy analyst for the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA). Beginning in 1996, she filed complaints alleging that a company from the United States was mining vanadium in South Africa and harming the environment and human health. The EPA did not respond, and Coleman-Adebayo reported her concerns to other organizations. Coleman-Adebayo filed a suit against the agency, alleging racial and gender discrimination. On August 18, 2000, a federal jury found EPA guilty of violating the civil rights of Coleman-Adebayo on the basis of race, sex, color and a hostile work environment, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Coleman-Adebayo is a founder and leader of the No FEAR Coalition. Through her leadership, the No FEAR Coalition, working closely with Representative James Sensenbrenner, organized a successful grass-roots campaign and secured passage of the “Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act,” the first Civil Rights Law of the 21st Century. The Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002. (Wiki)
Author Tavis Smiley hosts the late-night news program, conducting interviews with newsmakers, politicians and celebrities. His goal to ``introduce Americans to each other'' offers stimulating conversations with diverse trendsetters and opinion-makers from the worlds of arts, entertainment, politics and media.

Political commentator Tavis Smiley offers in-depth analysis of topical issues and interviews with newsmakers of the day. (Wash Post)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sustainable DC

Letter From DC Department of Planning and DC Department of the Environment

Thanks to creative energy from you and thousands of other citizens across the District, Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC plan is off to an exciting start.

We now invite you to join Mayor Vincent Gray on November 29th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (Room 202B) as we present the progress from the “Start in September” outreach, and establish working groups to develop recommendations to make Washington, DC the greenest, healthiest, most inclusive and livable city in the nation!

On behalf of the Mayor, we thank everyone who contributed ideas at sustainable.dc.gov, attended one of over 50 public meetings and events, or tweeted during our #SustainableDC Twitter chat. Now it’s time to take our initial collection of ideas, existing local efforts, and the best national and global examples of sustainable practices to develop our vision, goals, and priorities. The plan will also evaluate environmental and health benefits, and take steps to strengthen the city’s economic vitality and build community.

On November 29th, we will begin the meeting together as a group to hear from Mayor Gray, review input to date, and map out the Sustainable DC planning process. We will then break out into nine topical working groups: the built environment, climate, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste, water, and the green economy. We invite you to actively participate in one (or more) of these working groups, which will delve into the details of these topics over the course of four to six meetings from December through February. At the mid-point and again at the end of the working group process, all participants will come together to share ideas and address the critical connections among these working group topics.

While all meetings will be open to the public, we are asking those who wish to officially participate on a working group to commit to some basic roles and responsibilities. More details are included in the attachment. So we can prepare for this kick-off meeting, please RSVP here. For questions, please email sustainable.future@dc.gov  or call (202) 442-8809. For more information on the plan and to follow plan updates, please visit http://www.sustainable.dc.gov/.

We look forward to working with you to make the District the greenest, healthiest, most livable city in the nation!
Harriet Tregoning
DC Office of Planning DC Department of the Environment

Christophe A.G. Tulou
DC Office of Planning DC Department of the Environment

EPA Requests Proposals for Urban Waters Small Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects to award between $1.8 to $3.8 million in funding for projects across the country to help restore urban waters by improving water quality and supporting community revitalization. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational and employment opportunities in nearby communities.

The goal of the Urban Waters Small Grants program is to fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that will advance the restoration of urban waters by improving water quality through activities that also support community revitalization and other local priorities such as public health, social and economic opportunities, general livability and environmental justice for residents. Examples of projects eligible for funding include:

· Education and training for water quality improvement or green infrastructure jobs

· Public education about ways to reduce water pollution

· Local water quality monitoring programs

· Engaging diverse stakeholders to develop local watershed plans

· Innovative projects that promote local water quality and community revitalization goals

Information about Urban Waters Small Grants including the Request for Proposal (RFP) and registration links for the webinars. EPA expects to award the grants in Summer 2012.

Note to Applicants: In accordance with EPA's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy (EPA Order 5700.5A1), EPA staff will not meet with individual applicants to discuss draft proposals, provide informal comments on draft proposals, or provide advice to applicants on how to respond to ranking criteria. Applicants are responsible for the contents of their proposals. However, consistent with the provisions in the announcement, EPA will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about the announcement. Questions must be submitted in writing via e-mail to and must be received by the

Agency Contact, Ji-Sun Yi, by January 16, 2012 and written responses will be posted on EPA’s website

Dates to Remember:

· Deadline for submitting proposals: January 23, 2012.

· Two webinars about this funding opportunity: December 14, 2011 and January 5, 2012.

· Deadline for submitting questions: January 16, 2012

Related Links:

For more information on EPA’s Urban Waters program

· EPA’s Urban Waters program supports the goals and principles of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a partnership of 11 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their
waterways. For more information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo on the Tavis Smiley/Cornel West Radio Show

Federal whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo reveals her battle with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tavis Smiley/Cornel West Radio Show with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo.

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, left, was a senior policy analyst for the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA). Beginning in 1996, she filed complaints alleging that a company from the United States was mining vanadium in South Africa and harming the environment and human health. The EPA did not respond, and Coleman-Adebayo reported her concerns to other organizations. Coleman-Adebayo filed a suit against the agency, alleging racial and gender discrimination. On August 18, 2000, a federal jury found EPA guilty of violating the civil rights of Coleman-Adebayo on the basis of race, sex, color and a hostile work environment, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Coleman-Adebayo is a founder and leader of the No FEAR Coalition. Through her leadership, the No FEAR Coalition, working closely with Representative James Sensenbrenner, organized a successful grass-roots campaign and secured passage of the “Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act,” the first Civil Rights Law of the 21st Century. The Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002. (Wiki)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Nature Conservancy: LEAF Program

The Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program provides paid summer internships for high school students and helps educators from environmental high schools share best practices and scientific resources. The long-term goal of LEAF is to support more than 30 environmental high schools across the country, ultimately serving over 20,000 students.

LEAF is an ambitious effort to empower the next generation of conservation leaders and equip them with the skills and knowledge to address our world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

With the support of the Toyota USA Foundation in 2011, LEAF will expand a nationally-recognized partnership model with environmental high schools to combine classroom lessons with real-world conservation work experience for urban youth.

The program works with a select group of environmental high schools, and provides paid summer internships for students in natural areas across the nation and helps educators from environmental high schools share best practices and scientific resources during the academic year.

The LEAF model:

• helps urban youth gain critical life, school and workplace skills;

• provides sustained exposure to nature; and

• supports students pursuing higher education opportunities and career paths in environmental fields.

The program marries The Nature Conservancy’s scientific expertise and access to natural areas with the lessons learned in environmental high schools to provide students with the web of mentors, alumni, and peers that is fundamental to successful youth development programs.

Supplementing classroom lessons on ecology and conservation with the real world experience of applying those lessons in the field has a tremendous impact on students’ lives — opening their eyes to career possibilities, building self confidence, independence, work skills, conservation literacy and a love of the outdoors.

For more information on LEAF, or to sponsor a student, please contact leaf@tnc.org

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo discussing her book, "No Fear" at Busboys and Poets.  Washington, DC, October 11, 2011

Pepco's Minority-Owned Subcontractor Scope Services, Inc

Scope Services, Inc Trains Smart Meter Installers in Maryland

Pepco's minority-owned subcontractor Scope Services, Inc. is recruiting and training local workers to install smart meters in Prince George's and Montgomery counties now through the end of 2012. Pepco serves 778,000 customers, with the majority residing in both Maryland counties.

Pepco also is installing smart meters in the District of Columbia and anticipates completing that deployment by the end of 2011.

Since May, Pepco and Scope Services, Inc. staffs have worked with Montgomery Works and the Prince George's One-Stop Career Center to extend to Maryland residents the opportunity to apply for contract meter installer and administrative support positions that have been created locally as a result of the smart meter deployment in Maryland.

These meter installers will be hired and trained by Scope Services, Inc. to disconnect, remove, install and reconnect electric power meters that are used to record the energy consumption of residential and commercial customers.

The potential benefits of the new smart meters will empower customers to control their energy costs, decrease the time associated with restoring power, and reduce the need for estimated meter readings among other benefits. (Electric Light & Power, 7/21/2011)

Monday, November 14, 2011

National Society of Black Engineers

The mission of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is:

"to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community."
The National Society of Black Engineers strives to accomplish the following objectives for their organization:

• Stimulate and develop student interest in the various engineering disciplines

• Strive to increase the number of minority students studying engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels

• Encourage members to seek advanced degrees in engineering or related fields and to obtain professional engineering registrations

• Promote public awareness of engineering and the opportunities for Blacks and other minorities in that profession

• Function as a representative body on issues and developments that affect the careers of Black Engineers

Innovative project ideas are generated and implemented throughout the year on the chapter, regional and national levels. Some of NSBE's present activities include tutorial programs, group study sessions, high school/junior high outreach programs, technical seminars and workshops, a national communications network (NSBENET), two national magazines (NSBE Magazine and NSBE Bridge), an internal newsletter, a professional newsletter (Career Engineer, a supplement in NSBE Magazine), resume books, career fairs, awards, banquets and an annual national convention.

AAEA looks forward to working with NSBE on practical solutions to environmental problems.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Black Environmentalist


By Norris McDonald

How can you be a Black environmentalist and deal with the fact that Blacks do not own energy infrastructure and resources in the USA?  Do you toe the traditionalist environmentalist company line, or do you think for yourself?  Do the traditional environmental organizations care about the lack of Black equity in the energy sector?  We think they do not care and will never work to promote African American energy infrastructure and resources ownership.

Thus, the Black environmentalist.  The environmentalist who must admit that Blacks do not own any of the entities that produce smog (okay we own cars but no car production companies) and global warming, yet who are expected to toe the conservationist line.  A race in America that consumes its share of energy resources, but owns none of the equity in any of those energy industries, is a race without equity.  And energy industries do not let you in. Nor is there access to the huge federal government energy subsidies. Okay.

Blacks have formed their own environmental organizations.  No use in waiting for the mainstream environmental groups to integrate.  But I must say that although they do hire black professionals, they do not seem to be able to retain them (except for the Sierra Club).  Green DMV, Green For All, and Black and Into Green, are three of the newer black-led environmental groups.  Lisa P. Jackson is the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Van Jones has made a name for himself.

Yet the rubber meets the road with public policy.  Does one blindly promote conservation when one's community has no ownership in the energy sector?  Should Blacks strictly stick to 'green' energy when it represents less than 2% of the electricity sector? What about international trade?  Black Africans and African Americans should, at a very minimum, be dominating the trade between these two continental cousins.

The Black environmentalist has some things to consider.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The State of the African-American Consumer Report

Release of report at The National Press Club
The State of the African-American Consumer Report found that black buying power is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. The study, which focuses on black spending, media habits and consumer trends, reported an increase in the amount of blacks attending college or earning a degree. It also found an increase in the number of African American households earning $75,000 or higher by almost 64 percent.

Nielsen partnered with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as the Black Press of America, to release the report. The companies announced the results on Sept. 22.

Other notable findings in the report include:

• With a buying power of nearly 1 trillion annually, if Blacks were a country, they'd be the 16th largest country in the world

• Blacks make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. Blacks in higher income brackets, also spend 300 percent more in higher end retail grocers more than any other high-income household.

• There were 23.9 million active Black Internet users in July 2011--76 percent of whom visited a social networking/blog site.

• Thirty-three percent of all Blacks own a smart phone.

• Black Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to whites--1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.

(Huffington Post, Black Voices, 11/10/2011)

Occupy DC & No Fear Coalition Occupy EPA

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, president of the No Fear Coalition, speaks at the Occupy EPA protest on Nov. 10.

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo (Photo by Jason Miller/Federal News Radio)

Occupy DC protestors carried crosses and laid three wreaths in front of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) building Thursday to mock memorialize the death of clean air and environmental justice. Protestors accused the EPA of supporting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and failing to fully implement regulations within the Clean Air Act.

Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro is a community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more!Outdoor Afro uses social media to create interest communities, events, and to partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.

Founder Rue Mapp split her childhood time between urban Oakland, California and her families’ working ranch in the Northern woodlands, where she cultivated a passion for natural spaces, farming, and learned how to hunt and fish. As a youth, her participation in the Girl Scouts and Outward Bound broadened her outdoor experiences, such as camping, mountaineering, rock climbing, and road bicycling. But Rue was troubled by the consistently low numbers of African Americans participating in these activities. So for two decades, Rue has used digital media as an important and practical tool to connect with people of color who share her outdoor interests. Outdoor Afro emerged naturally from these experiences.

Rue Mapp
Rue Mapp has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was inspired by her study of the artistic representation of the American forests. She is also a successful entrepreneur whose game and hobby store start-up (It’s Your Move) remains an important part of the Oakland community. Rue was honored to be invited to the White House to participate in the America’s Great Outdoors Conference where President Obama signed an historic memorandum to help reconnect all Americans to the Great Outdoors. She is now serving as program officer at the Stewardship Council to oversee its youth investment program that connects programs with the resources they need to get underrepresented youth to engage meaningfully with the outdoors. Rue is a proud mother of three school-aged children – Seth, Arwen, and Billy, and lives in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.

Photo by Donna Petagrew, Outdoor Afro Photo Contest Winner

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

White House Hosts African American Leadership Conference

White House African-American Policy Agenda Conference

White House Releases New Policy Report Outlining the Obama Administration Achievements in the African American Community

Today, Wednesday, November 8, the White House held an African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference, bringing community leaders from across the country together with a broad range of White House and Cabinet officials for an in-depth series of interactive workshops and substantive conversations on the Administration’s efforts and achievements in the African American community.

Participants including community leaders, professors, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and elected officials, have the opportunity to interact with Administration officials on pressing issues that directly impact African Americans. Discussion topics included strengthening the economy through the American Jobs Act, job training, access to capital for growing businesses, reforming our nation’s education system, protecting civil rights, community development initiatives, and strategies targeting poverty.

At the conference, the White House released a new policy report, outlining how the President's policies directly impact the African American community.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined President Obama, Secretary Sebelius, Secretary Vilsack and leaders from across the country at the White House to talk about issues affecting African American communities. As the first African American Administrator of the EPA, Administrator Jackson is proud to be working to address the health and environmental disparities we see in minority communities - and to help strengthen local economies through pollution clean ups and by giving these neighborhoods what they need to compete for business investments.


Date: November 9th, 2011
Time: 9:00-4:30PM ET


9:00-9:15AM Welcome: Michael Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Heather Foster, Director of African American Outreach

9:15-9:30AM Opening Remarks: Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama

9:30-10:30AM Panel Session One: Economic Security, Job Creation, and the African American Community


Danielle Gray, Deputy Director, National Economic Council
Rebecca Blank Acting Deputy, Department of Commerce
Seth Harris, Deputy Secretary, Department of Labor
Don Graves, President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
Undersecretary Martha Kanter, Department of Education

10:50-12:00PM Panel Session Two: The President’s Domestic policy agenda and the African American community


Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Council
Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services
Acting Deputy Secretary, Estelle Richman, Housing and Urban Development
Administrator Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency

12:00-12:45PM Working lunch with Attorney General Eric Holder

1:30-3:30PM Afternoon Breakout sessions

Track one: Education Reform and Job Training
Track two: Economic Growth, Jobs Creation, and Business Development
Track three: Anti-Poverty Strategies
Track four: Prevention and Health Disparities (Let’s Move)
Track five: Fatherhood, Prevention, and Reentry Issues
Track six: Housing and Urban Affairs

3:45-4:15PM Report and Action Steps: Jon Carson, Director, White House Office of Public Engagement

4:15-4:30PM Closing Remarks by Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama

(The White House)

EPA: Most Areas Meet Air Quality Standards for Lead

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that available air quality information indicates that 39 states are meeting the health-based national air quality standards for lead set in 2008. Based on 2008 to 2010 air quality monitoring data, EPA also determined that Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan and Puerto Rico each have one area that does not meet the agency’s health based standards for lead. Exposure to lead may impair a child’s IQ, learning capabilities and behavior.

The agency also is identifying three areas located in Tennessee, Arizona and New York as “unclassifiable,” meaning that available information is insufficient to confirm whether or not the areas are meeting the standards. EPA will take further action once additional information is available.

In October 2008, EPA strengthened the nation’s air quality standards for lead ten-fold to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air. EPA also finalized requirements for new monitors to be located near large sources of lead emissions. EPA designated areas as meeting or not meeting the standards in two rounds. Using air quality data from existing monitors, EPA completed the first round of designations in November 2010. This second round in today’s announcement relies on data from the new monitors to classify the remaining areas.

Last year, EPA designated 16 other areas in 11 states as not meeting the standards because their 2007 to 2009 air quality monitoring data showed that their emissions were above the agency’s health-based standards. Based on new air quality monitoring information, and recommendations from Pennsylvania, EPA is expanding the size of one of those areas, Lower Beaver Valley, Pa to ensure that the entire area that exceeds the standard is properly identified.

Areas designated as not meeting the standards will need to develop plans within 18 months and implement them within five years to reduce pollution to meet the lead standards. No areas in Indian Country are being designated nonattainment.

Lead emitted into the air can be inhaled or can be ingested after it settles. Ingestion is the main route of human exposure. Children are the most susceptible because they are more likely to ingest lead, and their bodies are developing rapidly. There is no known safe level of lead in the body.

National average concentrations of lead in the air have dropped 93 percent nationwide since 1980, largely the result of the agency's phase-out of lead in gasoline. Lead in the air comes from a variety of sources, including smelters, iron and steel foundries, and piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded aviation gasoline. (EPA)

More information on the designations

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Occupy DC To Occupy EPA and Lafayette Park on Nov 10th

Occupy Washington
No FEAR Coalition
National Whistleblower Center

Protestors from a wide range of organizations led by the Occupy Washington, DC. org, the No FEAR Coalition, the National Whistleblower Center, net-We.org, Federal Alliance for Workplace Accountability, and others will demonstrate against the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, November 10 at noon.

The demonstration will gather from 12 noon at Freedom Plaza before proceeding to the Environmental Protection Agency to lay wreaths at EPA's door symbolizing the illness and deaths from asthma and other upper respiratory diseases that will occur as a result of the Administrations' decision to delay smog regulations.

Led by E.P.A. whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo the protest is directed against the Environmental Protection Agency for bowing to pressure from President Barack Obama to postpone changes to the Clean Air Act to protect Americans from smog and other dangerous pollution.

In May the Centers for Disease Control reported that from 2001--2009, 24.6 million additional people were reported with asthma. A rising trend in asthma prevalence was observed for non-Hispanic black children (11.4% to 17.0%), non-Hispanic white women (8.9% to 10.1%), and non-Hispanic black men (4.7% to 6.4%). That higher prevalence costs around $50 billion a year for medical expenses. according to the CDC. Add to that, $3.8 billion in missed school or work hours, and $2.1 billion for 12,000 premature deaths. Medical expenses associated with asthma were $3,259 per person per year during 2002—2007. And the biggest toll is among African-Americans.

Dr. Coleman Adebayo noted:
“Occupy groups around the country should demand that President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson immediately reverse their decision on clean air. We don’t have enough laws to protect the sick, but we have enough good people with conscience, spirit and bravery to do the right thing. Even when political leaders fail us.”
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of “No FEAR A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA.” Her website: Marshacoleman-adebayo.com contains a petition demanding that the president reverse his decision. (No Fear Coalition)

Monday, November 07, 2011

White House Surrounded By Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters

Thousands gathered on Sunday to surround the White House to protest the Keystone XL pipeline proposal.


There are days along any journey that stick with you, and today was one of them.

Under blue Indian Summer skies, more than ten thousand people from every corner of the country descended on Washington; then, with great precision, they fanned out to ring the White House and take a stand against the Keystone pipeline.

Here are just a couple of pictures, and you can see lots more by clicking here.

What speaker after speaker today made clear (and they came from every part of our movement: indigenous leaders, labor organizers, environmentalists, young people, preachers) was that today was in no way a grand finale — there’s lots more work to do.

I have no idea how this battle is going come out — only that, together, we stand a chance to shut down this dirty pipeline and shift the flow not just of oil but of history. This day was an important part of that history, and we’ll carry it’s power with us as we take this fight forward.

Thanks in advance for all the work we’ll do together, shoulder-to-shoulder, on the road ahead.


Bill McKibben