February 22nd Program: African American Environmental Pioneer Awards
In recognition of Black History Month, the African American Environmental Pioneer Awards is in its second year recognizing those in Milwaukee’s African American community working for a better environment. Due to COVID‐19, this will be an online event starting at 6:30 pm, Monday, February 22nd. To attend the event, participants must register to get the link, at www.bit.ly/green‐pioneers‐2021.
The featured speaker will be pioneering Harlem poet Dahveed Nelson, a member of the Last Poets, credited for work that led to the emergence of hip‐hop. Steven Hunter, a veteran of Milwaukee Public Theater will MC the program. Drummer and performance artist Jahmés Finlayson will provide musical interludes. In addition to honoring “Pioneers,” this year’s awards will be intergenerational, as six young “Rising Stars” are among the nominees.
Awards are being presented to thirteen individuals. The honorees are:
August Ball Cream City Conservation Corps.
Robert Brox Community Gardener
Richard Diaz Coalition on Lead Emergency
Michelle Dowell Groundwork Milwaukee
Aureal Ojeda Outwoken Tea
Sherry Terrell Webb Groundwork Milwaukee
Dr Sylvia Wilson Teens Grow Greens
Rising Star Awards
Dynasty Ceasar City of MKE Environmental Collaboration Office
Teonna Cooksey Architect, Urban Planner
Erin Eregbu Horticulturist & Landscape Designer
Sierra Taliaferro Naturalist, Outdoor Leader
Martina Patterson Youth Educator, Nearby Nature
Wilniesha Smith Reflo, Administrative Coordinator
The event will begin with a virtual lobby, with music and slideshow at 6:15 pm. At 6:30 pm, Event Chair Yvonne McCaskill will make opening remarks. Drummer Jahmés Finlayson will perform the “Call to Ceremony” to begin the 6:30 program.
The group has adopted the call “Asase Ye Duru” represented by an Ashanti Adinkra symbol meaning “The Earth has Weight”, symbolizing the providence and divinity of Mother Earth.
This event is free and open to the public. Participants must register in advance at www.bit.ly/green‐pioneers‐2021.
Event Committee: (organizations listed for identification purposes)
Terry Evans, Urban Ecology Center – Washington Park
Cassandra Flagg, Green & Healthy Communities LLC Steven Hunter, Nearby Nature Milwaukee
Yvonne McCaskill, Triangle Neighborhood Association Martina Patterson, Nearby Nature Milwaukee
David Thomas, Nearby Nature Milwaukee / Sierra Club Great Waters