Nearby Nature and partners are proud to announce the 2022 African American Environmental Pioneer Awards. It’s our THIRD annual event to honor those in Milwaukee’s African American community working for a better environment. We held an exciting and memorable event to honor the work of these environmental pioneers and were very proud to have Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes deliver the keynote address honoring our awardees. Brenda Coley, Co-Director of Milwaukee Water Commons provided a Milwaukee Environmental Justice 2022 update and Dr. Sylvia Wilson of Teens Grow Greens presented ideas for future collaboration.
Held on Monday, February 21st 2022, here is the link to the full program: https://youtu.be/Rc6EXQtMYP8 .
In February 2020, our first ground breaking event was held to honor those in the Black community working for a better environment and for justice and equity. If you didn’t attend, you can read about the inaugural 2020 event at this link. This first annual awards ceremony was held at the Wisconsin Black History museum.
Our second annual event in 2021, held virtually, was equally memorable. You can read about the 2021 awards at this link.
This was our third annual event. We gathered at 6:30 pm on Monday, February 21st, 2022 to coincide with Black History Month. To our honorees, we wrote
“You are a leader in the fight for racial justice, equity and inclusion, and for a clean, healthy environment for all. You have earned this honor.”
Due to Covid-19 protocols we held the event virtually. Awardees and speakers were invited, optionally, to attend in person at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum on 27th and Center.
Awards were presented to eleven individuals. The honorees are:
- Rick Banks Co-Founder, MKE Black
- Antoine Carter Imagine MKE
- Lamont Smith The Nature Conservancy
- Rafael Smith Climate Equity Director, Citizen Action
- Reverend Michelle Townsend De Lopez Pastor, Cross Lutheran Church
Rising Star Awards
- Milton L. Byers III Wild Indigo Coordinator – Milwaukee, Audubon Great Lakes
- Jalen Greenlee Founder of FLORA
- Detaya Johnson Urban Agriculturist, Educator
- Danitra Jones Northwest Side CDC
- Nateya Taylor Founder, Naesthetycs LLC, Urban Studies MS Student
- Danielle Washington HN-Development, UWM – Public Health grad