Black environmental leaders eager to bring our community up to speed

BLACK-ENVIRONMENTALBlack environmental leaders eager to bring our community up to speed

As Black Americans, we are way behind the curve on environmental issues – what they are; how they affect us, and what we must do to address them. We are seldom shown as experts on the national news in conversations about climate change, environmental protection or the green economy. Our estrangement from this sector will work to our detriment, as the Congressional Black Caucus warned in their 2004 report, African Americans & Climate Change: An Unequal Burden.

To bring our communities up to speed, the Diverse Environmental Leaders (DEL) National Speakers Bureau has brought together some of the most experienced and knowledgeable Black environmental experts in the country. Leaders from Congress, business, civic and community organizations now have an easy way to find the expertise they need in order to make sound decisions, as the environment is increasingly affecting business and every aspect of life.

DEL is the brainchild of Frank and Audrey Peterman, national award-winning Black environmentalists who have been among a small minority working in this field over the past 20 years. The Bureau includes experts that can help communities improve their health and economy through green technologies; Black leaders from the Sea Islands off the Carolinas that are already adapting to climate change, and young millennials who are leading their peers back to Nature and teaching them to pursue a healthful lifestyle. Being intimately involved with the needs of their communities, DEL speakers’ are able to offer guidance and solutions that match communities with avail-able resources.




Let Majora Carter show you how the Environment can Change Your Economy

The MacArthur Genius A-ward Winner and urban re-vitalization strategist transformed her trash-burdened South Bronx neighborhood into an environmental showcase including a riverside park, while providing jobs for community members. The founder and CEO of the Majora Carter Group serves on the board of the Andrew Goodman Foundation and consults with corporations and cities around the country.


Queen Quet – Get Caught up on Climate Change & How Blacks are Adapting

When you think of the Gullah Geechee on the Low Country Sea Islands, you probably think of shrimp and grits, cultural festivals and basket making. But as they are located in the Atlantic Ocean, the Sea Islands are already experiencing the effects of climate change and rising sea levels eating away at their land.  The Chieftess of the Gullah Geechee Nation, Queen Quet is the emissary taking the plight of her people to the world while leading efforts to adapt on the islands.


Dorien Blythers – Orienting Youth to Careers in Conservation

Many young people in our communities are missing out on the career opportunities in the environmental and conservation sector. Dorien Blythers parlayed his interest in the environment into a career that includes working with Congress, People for the American Way, The Outdoor Foundation, Sierra Club, U.S. Green Building Council and The White House. This dynamic young leader is a strong role model and motivator for young people to look at an increasing growth sector where our numbers are under-represented.


Great Inspiration!

Many DEL Speakers have achieved incredible feats of daring and persistence on the world stage. As Keynote Speakers at your event they can re-kindle excitement in your audience and inspire them to strive toward their own goals. From sailing solo around the globe to climbing four of the world’s seven highest mountains, they are also authors and social scientists on the cutting edge of change in our country.


Captain Bill Pinkney – What Does it Take to Reach your Most Extravagant Goals?

At the age of 50, Bill Pinkney left his job as a marketing executive to sail solo around the globe. On his 47-foot sailboat he traveled 27,000 miles via the most challenging Southern Route, arriving back in Boston 22 months later. Alone in the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, Captain Pinkney recalls nights when he was enveloped in the canopy of stars above reflected in the water below, so beautiful and poignant that it was hard for him to tell what was up and what was down. He is a leader in the movement to connect all people to the protection of our oceans and our planetary home.


Stephen Shobe – Striving for the Pinnacles of Earth

Stephen Shobe is the managing director of Pioneer Climbing Expedition (PCE), whose goal is to be the first African American team to climb all Seven Summits – the highest mountain on each of our seven continents. Having already reached the summit on seven continents, in 2013 the 57-year-old leader narrowly missed the summit of North America when catastrophic weather stopped the team just 700 feet from the top of 20,320-foot high Mount Denali in Alaska. Shobe is a role model who inspires people around the globe and particularly young Black people in urban America to strive and reach their goals.


Carolyn Finney, Ph.D. – Why are Black People Afraid of the Great Out-doors?

After backpacking around the world and living for years in Africa and Asia, Carolyn Finney returned to the US with a burning desire to understand the relationship between African Americans and our forests, parks and wilderness areas. Although these areas are sought after by millions of white Americans and foreign tourists each year, Blacks are virtually shut out of the opportunities including billions of federal dollars invested in managing them. The UC Berkley professor’s new book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Land is the definitive work providing answers.


Frank & Audrey Peterman – Building a Heritage Tourism Business in the National Parks

The predominant image of Blacks in America is as enslaved people doing chattel service on southern plantations. But in the National Park System that protects the places where history was made, Audrey and Frank Peterman can show the legendary contributions of Black men and women from the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights Movement.

From Boston African American Historical Park which commemorates the spot where Crispus Attucks was shot dead in the opening volleys of the Revolutionary War, to the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California where the Buffalo Soldiers protected Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, to the shores of South Florida where Black Sir Lancelot Jones sold his island to the National Park Service to create Biscayne National Park, the Petermans will hold your audience in rapt attention with the incredible legacy that has been left for us. Choose one or both of the Petermans to Keynote your next event.

This is the opportune time for the Black community to get more involved with the enjoyment and protection of our environment. Contact DEL Speakers at,, (404) 432-2839.


About Carma Henry 15862 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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