The Green Revolution exhibit highlights more than 30 individuals with “green” careers. Below are a few of the African-American newsmakers who are featured in this year’s exhibit. Their unique careers are fueling the green movement and just beginning the revolution to save our planet.
Majora Carter – Urban Planner
Majora Carter is president of The Majora Carter Group, LLC, a green-collar economic consulting firm. Carter is widely known as the past director of Sustainable South Bronx, a nonprofit environmental justice and urban jobs training corporation that she created in 2001. Her first major project was writing a $1.25 million Federal Bureau of Transportation planning grant for the South Bronx Greenway, 11 miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths connecting the rivers and neighborhoods to each other and the rest of the city. Carter has been instrumental in building green roofs and working to remove poorly planned highways in favor of positive economic development in her Bronx neighborhood.
Johari Cole – Organic Farmer/Community Activist
Johari Cole, along with her husband, owns and operates Iyabo Farms, a 45-acre certified organic farm in Kankakee County, Illinois, about 70 miles south of Chicago. Iyabo Farms is a part of Pembroke Farming, a community of mostly African-American owned farms. Cole’s farm uses chemical-free growing methods to produce free-range chickens, turkeys, vegetables, grains, lamb and goats for Chicago greenmarkets and restaurants. Cole also is a noted lecturer organic farming and sustainable food sources.
Naomi Davis – Attorney/Activist
Naomi Davis is the president of Daughter’s Trust, a green economics consultancy based in Chicago. The organization’s mission is to convert several acres of impoverished urban property into a mixed-income eco-development. Davis is also the founder of Blacks in Green (BIG), an environmental advocacy group that has taken up the charge to rally people across the country around the green movement. In addition, Davis works on the new peer-reviewed journal Environmental Justice and hosts and produces Chicago’s first and only green-themed talk show on public access TV.
Julian Dawson – Architect/Engineer
Julian Dawson is vice president and director of engineering for Ray/Dawson, P.C. Architects & Engineers in Chicago. His work concerns development and design of structural systems for various building types, including commercial, residential, institutional and light industrial construction. Additionally, Dawson has designed energy-efficient single-family and multi- unit residential buildings and churches. He uses his own home, Hybrid House I, a demonstration house in Bronzeville, to teach about a more sustainable way of urban life.
Michael Dorsey – Environmental Advocate/Professor
Michael Dorsey has been assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire since 2005, and he teaches in the college’s Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies Department. His work addresses international and domestic environmental justice and policy issues, and the interplay of environmental governance and transnational institutions. Combining research and advocacy, his activities with non-profit organizations include advising a consortium of groups seeking a global ban on human cloning, identifying public health hazards and inspiring youth.
Craig Hooks – Oceanographer
Craig Hooks is the director of the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C. OWOW promotes a watershed approach to manage, protect, and restore the water resources and aquatic ecosystems of U.S. marine and fresh waters. Hooks chairs the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force Coordinating Committee, which joins federal and state interagency efforts to reduce hypoxia, or low oxygen levels, in the Gulf of Mexico. Hooks is also the EPA representative on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, which aims to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems.
Van Jones – Civil Rights/Environmental Activist
Van Jones is the founder of the Oakland, California based Green for All, a national organization that aims to build an inclusive, green economy that can resolve the ecological crisis and lift people out of poverty. Green for All grew out of Jones’ work in creating a Green Job Corps with the City of Oakland. At the national level, Jones worked with legislators toward passage of the Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorizes funding for worker training. In 2008, Green for All partnered with Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection in launching the Green for All Academy to train U.S. grassroots leaders. Jones’ book, The Green Collar Economy (HarperOne, 2008), garnered him numerous awards, including selection by Time magazine as a 2008 Environmental Hero and recognition from the World Economic Forum and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Melville Nickerson – Attorney
Melville Nickerson is staff attorney and government relations specialist with the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) in Chicago. The ELPC engages in creative business-planning among diverse interests to demonstrate that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together. Nickerson’s work focuses on government policy development, particularly in Illinois. In September 2008, he helped draft and negotiate the Electronics Recycling and Reuse Act, a bill that will keep toxins out of landfills and create new green jobs in the state.
Nia Robinson – Environmentalist/Author
Nia Robinson directs the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC) in Washington, D.C. The EJCC brings together a diverse group of environmental advocacy organizations to promote just and meaningful domestic and international climate policy by educating and motivating North Americans. Early in her career, Robinson realized that African-American communities face life-threatening environmental issues and must work together to solve them. Robinson co-authored A Climate of Change: African Americans, Global Warming, and a Just Climate Policy for the U.S., published by the EJCC (July 2008) and partially funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Jhana Senxian – Social Anthropologist
Jhana Senxian leads the sustainability and corporate responsibility practice at the research firm Aberdeen Group based in Boston, Massachusetts. She directs Aberdeen’s strategic research partnership with the United Nations focusing on private sector involvement in global sustainable consumption and production (SCP). Senxian advocates for the positive impact of business involvement in local and global environmental, cultural and socio-economic efforts. Her work outlines best practices for organizations developing sustainability programs by implementing a holistic, measured and collaborative sustainability platform focused on benefitting “people, planet and profit.” Senxian is also a co-author of the forthcoming Green IT for Dummies (Wiley Press, 2009).
Bryant Terry – Eco Chef/Author
Bryant Terry is an Oakland, California-based eco-chef, author, and food justice activist. His book, Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, will be available stores in 2009. As a guest lecturer and cooking instructor, Terry appears at community events, major universities and farmers markets across the country. Terry created the Black and Green Food Justice Fund in 2007 to provide mini-grants to projects building a more just and sustainable food system in the U.S. Currently Terry is a Food and Society Fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Fair Food Foundation.
Warren Washington – Climatologist
Warren Washington heads the Climate Change Research Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Washington was one of the first scientists to use computer modeling to evaluate the impact of humans on the global environment. His textbook, An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling, is a reference in the field. Washington held presidential appointments under presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton and G. W. Bush and also was the chair of the National Science Board from 1995 to 2007.
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