Monday, April 9, 2018

Let's Celebrate The ECODiversity 2018 Top African Americans in Conservation and Environmental Justice

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Top African Americans in Conservation and
Environmental Justice Are Honored

Washington, DC  -- ECODiversity today announced its inaugural awards recognizing African American professionals that have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion and environmental stewardship through innovative programming.  Selections are based on a review of nominations submitted by community members, environmental leaders, and members of our editorial board. 

"These awards recognize the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion in conservation and environmentalism," said Noemi Lujan Perez, ECODiversity co-founder and vice president of government and media relations. (Article continues after sponsor's message)

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The 2018 ECODiversity Top African Americans in Conservation and Environmental Justice recipients are:

Lisa Jackson, Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, was selected for her leadership overseeing Apple’s efforts to minimize its carbon footprint and leading the corporation’s efforts to address climate change. A trained chemical engineer, she leads the charge to invent new ways to preserve precious resources and use greener materials.  This includes serving as a key figure in the company’s talent pipeline efforts to increase diverse and inclusive representation in the company’s development of new innovation.

David Albritton, General Motors Executive Director, Product Development & International Communications, was selected for his work amplifying General Motor’s eco-sustainability message globally to diverse audiences and communities. An outdoors enthusiast, he has a penchant for technology and environmental sustainability. He is responsible for the development and execution of communication strategies for driving reputation for advanced engineering, vehicle design, quality, safety, propulsion systems, purchasing, supply chain and underlying technical leadership in new product development. He also has responsibility for aligning internal and external communications for all of GM’s global regions, including China, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

Urban American Outdoors TV founders Candice Price and Wayne Hubbard, were selected for their trailblazing work creating the nation’s first diverse outdoors television show highlighting outdoors recreation from an “urban” perspective.  Their television programming has provided a broadcast blueprint to connect and inspire diverse communities to nature and outdoor recreational activities benefiting America’s conservation efforts. Wayne and Candice have both advised State and Federal Government agencies on best practices and policies on conservation outreach to diverse and under-represented youth. They also founded the Urban Outdoor Summit to bring communities to the table with Conservation and Environmental Leadership to discuss issues, solutions, and job opportunities. Their Urban Kids Fish program hosts recreational fishing events around the country.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, was selected for his trailblazing work building a more inclusive and powerful green movement through culture. His organization is committed to ensuring under-served and vulnerable communities impacted first and worst by climate change are at the forefront of advocacy and driving their own solutions. For more than a decade he has been organizing for positive change and fighting environmental injustices at the front-lines, including Hurricane Katrina, Standing Rock, and Flint. He has also helped launched numerous programs to expand the green movement, including People's Climate Music, a project that organizes diverse and influential artists to create music and culture that inspires action to solve climate change. 

Rue Mapp, Founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, was selected for her trailblazing work engaging African Americans in outdoor recreation and building an organizational formula that has spurred similar efforts in other communities.  Her vision for community-focused outdoor activities has incentivized outdoor recreation brands and corporations to engage in outreach practices that support adventures in nature while promoting diversity and inclusion business ethics.  She is also a leading a voice for nature and public access for all through her coalition work at the state and national level.

Volt Energy Co-Founders and Managing Partners Gilbert Campbell and Simon Antonio Francis, were selected for trailblazing efforts establishing one of the nation’s largest minority-owned and solar energy development companies.  Volt Energy builds and maintains innovative renewable energy systems for commercial, educational, and government institutions.  Their work and success in the energy industry serves as an example to other minority-owned enterprises seeking to venture into eco, green, and conservation industries. 

William Lowery, Founder and President of Talo Management Group, was selected for his trailblazing work creating a model that leverages public-private partnerships in the development of multi-million dollar eco-sustainable/LEED structures to benefit under-served communities.  He works with city, state, and public works agencies to create energy and water efficient structures and reduce environmental impact.  Of note, these development projects are created with community “set-asides” that include transitional housing support for indigent mothers, workforce development training offices, and cultural centers. 

Tiffany White, Master Falconer and Co-Founder of Sonoran Desert Falconry Inc., was selected for her trailblazing work in falconry-based abatement in the agricultural industry and for being the nation’s only African American woman master falconer.  A trained biologist, she has collaborated with corporations and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Yuma, Arizona to establish scalable models of abatement to decrease food safety risks posed by birds on agricultural farms where fresh produce is grown. She is also helping to introduce a new generation of Americans – including diverse youth – to the desert habitat and wildlife preservation, and falconry as an outdoor recreational sport.
Jerome Ford, Assistant Director for Migratory Birds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was selected for his work overseeing the nation’s Migratory Bird Treaty Act and leading the charge to expand birding and migratory bird conservation to diverse audiences.  Under his leadership, strategic engagement through the Urban Bird Treaty grant program has amplified conservation awareness to diverse urban communities and engaged Latino influencers in shaping the blueprint to an eco-sustainable America.  Additionally, his vision initiated the creation of the Agency’s first partnership with a national African American fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Audrey Peterman, Founder & President of Earthwise Productions, was selected for an unapologetic voice on conservation and environmental justice issues and championing diversity and inclusion in the national park system.  She founded the Diverse Environmental Leaders network and speakers’ bureau to engage advocates from across diverse races, ethnicities, and experiential backgrounds to serve as voices for nature.  She drives awareness about the parks system through her blogs and books including Legacy on the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care (2009.), and Our True Nature: Finding A Zest for Life in the National Park System, (2012). She is also a tireless advocate of diversity and inclusion business ethics in the governing of the nation’s public lands.

George McDonald, Chief of the Youth Programs Division for the National Park Service, was selected for his role developing innovative youth pipeline opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in the National Parks Service.  His trailblazing work in key signature programs includes the creation of numerous diversity initiatives including, the Asian American Legacy Program, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Intern Program, the Latino Heritage Intern Program, and the Mosaics in Science Program; and, supported the expansion of the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Program for Native Americans, and the American Sign Language Conservation Corps Program for the deaf and hard of hearing.  He had a leadership role in the effort to develop the Agency’s national partnership to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  Of special note, he was the Project Manager for the Presidential Commission for the establishment of the National Museum for African American History and Culture, now a Smithsonian Museum.  

About ECODiversityTM

ECODiversityTM was launched in 2016 to give a voice to champions of diversity in conservation and environmental justice; and to drive diversity and inclusion as a business imperative in the eco, green, and conservation industries.  A diversity-run and operated social enterprise, we produce the ECODiversity Top 50 Diversity Leaders Awards; ECODiversity Magazine, a national, online and print publication; and, signature programs.  For more information, log on to 

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