Monday, December 26, 2011

A Black Environmentalist's Perspective

I have wanted to be a blogger from the very first time I read what a blogger had written.  If you have followed me during my rise in the environmental field, you have seen how much I have try to become one.  Yet, once I get started, I have either been to busy to commit myself to writing and managing (maintaining) a current blog, or the subjects that I selected were okay and important, but not the kind of subjects that could really float my boat (so to speak).  So as I have prior to this one, I write it, and end it after the one effort.  
The I stumbled upon a black blogger group, that was planning a cruise in June, and because of my need to spend some time with the lady of my life, who has had to suffer as much as I have, to give me a chance to pay my dues, to earn my status (place) in this growing environmental movement in America that is void of any real (I say again; real) black leadership.  I will come back to that point later, but the point is when I found this group of bloggers, and saw my chance to treat the love of my life, I also decided to make them my new location for blogging. 

Not wanting to just jump in and get my feet wet (my normal Aries deployment technique), I decided to wait until I felt the spirit to begin, because I knew once I got started, I did not want to quit.  So I took the low road, and have been just watching the flow on activity on the site, which has included some bloggers who are also members, reaching out to me to become their friend.

Now that I have decided to begin my blogging, I need all of you to keep in mind that I am by no means a computer wiz.  I usually have to stumble and fumble with most of what I need to do.  I have a decent website, - I know how to used the Internet to research pertinent data, and how to receive and send e-mail.  Past that; thank God for the on call 24 hour technicians (even though some can't speak English very well).  So if I make a computer error, like sending something before I was ready, please try to understand.

Somewhere I stated (I can't find where I said it anymore) when I first joined the blogger group that my intentions or subject matter would involve my current and past experience becoming an authority as far as environmental literacy is concerned, from a person of color’s perspective.  Notice I said, a “person” of color, because I don’t want to be challenged because you are some people you know, doesn’t feel the way I am describing.  This will be my own personal opinion! 

Okay this was my introduction; my first real environmental blog for the black bloggers will be forthcoming.

I will be including posting to the black blog on my website's blog too...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Building A Sustainable Earth Community:

When I was getting my credibility to become a black environmental leader, I developed a strategy of reading books written by recognized leaders in the environmental movement, and by any means necessary finding ways to attend environmental related conferences, workshops, or gathering.  In fact, after attending my first 2 national gatherings, and finding few if any people of color in attendance, I decided to create a person of color (leadership wise) multicultural environmental conference.

It was while designing the conference that Building A Sustainable Earth Community (BSEC) was seen as the perfect name for my company.  I have been documenting my steps to build such a community and was going to share what I had done with others, as my way of creating my own sustainable retirement income. 

Recently I was asked by one of my national associates to begin sharing my steps in my blog, because so many people are in need of the information I have recorded.  So beginning today, I am sharing with you, how I learned to understand sustainability.  I hope you will be the beneficiary of my experience.

My first mentor was David Korten, the renowned author of TheGreat Turning, ‘From Empire to Earth Community’.  What I learned from David is what has me sitting here today as a person of color environmental leader.  It was he who helped shape my environmental consciousness, with his knowledge of peak oil, and the strategies of the ruling empire, to keep the progressive members of society separated, and therefore easy to defeat.  He also spoke of how race in this country was the most intractable issue used to keep us separated  

The next person, who helped me create an environmental perspective, was John Rensenbrink, Co-Founder and a principal organizer, for United States Green Party, 1984.  John spoke at a Green party rally in Kansas City, Missouri during the 2008 primary election.  He said the environmental movement was the only movement in America since the Civil Rights movement that had the possibility of actually changing policies.  He said he hoped that unlike the Civil Rights movement, the environmental leaders would not let the empire render the movement useless by creating a political agenda.  

As he spoke, I knew exactly what he was saying or talking about.  During the 60’s & 70’s I was a student of the Civil Rights movement, and learned first hand what politics could do to a movement.  Proof of what political reasoning did to the Civil Rights movement, can be seen today, in the lack of economic development within the black communities itself.  We ended up with a lot of government programs to supplement other government programs.  Now that the economy is faltering, so goes those government programs, and so goes the black community.

Recently the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wrote an article on the “Disappearing Black Community”. He asked, “How can we get it back”?

I truly feel if we don’t heed John Rensenbrink’s warning, one day we might hear a leading conservationist say, “Schools must revamp how they teach about the environment to prevent ecological collapse”.
Wait a minute; conservationist Charles Saylan, and UCLA life scientist Daniel T. Blumstein have already said that in “TheFailure of Environmental Education (And How We Can Fix It)”, a recent book published in May 2011, by the University of California Press.

Now I am sure (just as it is with the Farrakhan statement on the Disappearing Black Community), there will be people who take issue with what is being said.  Yet as John Rensenbrink warned, the environmental movement has already become a political issue.

So my blog will be designed to give you a step-by-step rendition of how I have kept hope alive in a disenfranchised low-income community, by pushing sustainability as a way of life: Independent Sustainability.  What you will discover is that the people in my community, city, & state are way more environmentally literate than any of our political systems.  We are simply continuing to develop our own literacy, while we are waiting for the politicians to catch up.

Regardless of how we may feel, we still need each other to make sustainability work.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beryllium Contamination

What is Beryllium Contamination & why should you as an American citizen be concerned?  When I was growing up there was a bread company named Taste Bread, and they had a saying about the bread that is made while you are asleep.  A reference to them cooking bread all night long.  While writing this, I could remember riding by one of there bread factories and smelling the scent of cooked bread. 

Well while Taste Bread was preparing to feed up, another plant in town was preparing to defend us against foreign hurt, harm, or danger.  In the process of saving our country, they mistakenly became a domestic tragedy.  Beryllium Contamination is an American phrase that should be known and questioned by all Americans.  I am very much a supporter of our national security efforts, I too enjoy the thoughts of living a life free from the kind conditions we see daily on our headline news reports that are happening in many of our 3rd world and recently major foreign countries.  But all we ask is that when it has been determined that some problem has been discovered at one of our plants building weapons to defend us, the people working in those plants along with the people who are living in the areas surrounding the plants are informed so they can make their own decision regarding the circumstance.  We understand this problem could and can still happen at any location using harmful chemical to produce weapons or any known product.  But our goal as an organization is to represent not only the environment, but to represent the people too.

The below link is an example of where I feel people should have been informed.  I will leave it up to you to make your own determination.  The people who push to make this circumstance receive the attention it was due, will be the Friday night presenters at the March 11th & 12th Breaking The Silence Conference.



Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hello everyone, and welcome to our 2011 Breaking the Silence (BTS) conference website presentation.  As you know or will learn this year we uses our website as a way to keep everyone updated about our conference planning and development.  So when you view our various pages, keep in mind we are a work in progress, and be sure to return often to keep up with our developments.

It looks like this year’s conference will be the best yet.  We started 4 years ago with a concern for the lack of people of color’s involvement in the environmental movement.  After 2 years of addressing that concern, last year we introduced our first people of color breakout group on the subject of the lack of stimulus jobs in our low-income communities.  A move that has made it possible for us to partner with a new co-producer this year, the Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce, who will not only become our official co-producer of our conference, but also take a lead role in one of our symposium this year on Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs, and how small businesses can become the key, for developing solutions.

We are honored to have them as our co-producer, along with our other co-producer the Kansas City, Kansas Community College, who I see as being the other key element, through education & job training, for any job development effort. 

So when I am asked if we are making progress in my city, my answer is a resounding YES!  I am very optimistic about where we are going from here.  So come on out if you can and see what we have in mind, and where possible, jump on in and join us.
Our goal is to build a multicultural sustainable community or city, for that  we need your help too.


Friday, January 14, 2011

A good side of Compton California

As we prepare for our 2011 Breaking The Silence Conference, I want us all to be mindful that it is not the location that we should fear, but the possible acts that can be found there.  Even in the mist of negative press, beauty can be found.  I am using my most recent trip to Compton, California to say, I believe.  As a born and raised person from Kansas, I only had what my ears had heard to form my opinion about Compton, California. With the growth in the Hip-Hop culture, Compton has received some bad or negative press form both Hip-Hop artists as well as news organizations from around the country.  So you can imagine my surprise or thrill when for the first time in my life, I was able to pick a lemon growing on a tree in Compton.  My immediate thought was how I had never heard anyone talking about picking a lemon off a tree in Compton.  It was a very satisfying experience.  I could not help but think about a diamond in the rough.  It made me remember, how God will always find a way to show he is supreme.

I too say, God Bless America!