President's Corner


AAEA Speaks at the New York Urban League's Third Annual Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium

The New York Urban League sponsored it Third Annual MLK, JR Symposium on January 12, 2005 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The theme of the conference was "Health -- Our Greatest Asset." The Mistress of Ceremony was Tiffany McElroy, Anchor for WB11 Morning News. The Welcome was by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. The Invocation was by Rabbi Marc Schneier, President, Foundations for Ethnic Understanding. Special Remarks wer given by Jeff Burns, Secretary, NYUL Board of Directors, Howard Dodson, Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Guest Speaker was Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The President's Message was delivered by Darwin M. Davis, President & CEO, New York Urban League, Inc.

Lionel Ellis, Norris McDonald, Darwin Davis, Sandra Goodridge, Ken Theobalds, Dr. John Palmer & Wiley Mullins

The Health Panel included Sandra Goodridge, NUL Division of Health, Lionel Ellis, Urbanathletic, LLC, Dr. John M. Palmer, Harlem Hospital Center, Wiley Mullins, Author, "The Unopened Gift - The Slave Diet," Sandra Goodridge, NYUL Division of Health and AAEA President Norris McDonald. Terrie Williams, Author and Founder of the Terrie Williams Agency was the Moderator of the panel.

Darwin Davis, New York Urban League President & Norris McDonald

The mission of the New York Urban League is to help African Americans, individuals, families and communities achieve their full potential. Promote opportunities and work to affect policy in the public and private sectors, so as to eliminate racism and its effects.


AAEA Meets With Chairman of White House Council on Environmenatl Quality Chairman

AAEA President Norris McDonald met with Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman James Connaughton on August 10, 2004 to discuss AAEA's proposed Environmental Justice Act and other environmental matters.   McDonald previously met with Chairman Connaughton on May 28, 2003 to discuss environmental issues that are vital to the future of our country.  The meetings were productive and also included a discussion about some pressing local environmental issues.  McDonald shared that he taught a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) class at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School in 1997.  CEQ was created by NEPA (1969) and has eight duties and purposes:

Jim Connaughton, Norris McDonald

  1. Assist and Advise the President in preparing an annual environmental quality report
  2. Gather, analyze, and interpret information on trends in the quality of the environment
  3. Review and appraise federal agency compliance with the environmental policies of NEPA
  4. Develop and recommend to the President national policies to foster and promote the improvement of environmental quality
  5. Conduct investigations, studies, surveys, research, and analysis relating to ecological systems
  6. Document and define changes and trends in the natural environment and their underlying causes
  7. Report at least once each year to the President on the condition of the environment
  8. Make recommendations to the President with respect to environmental policies and legislation

Photo: Sandy McDonald

James L. Connaughton was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 14 and appointed by President Bush on June 18, 2001 to serve as the Chairman of the CEQ. Chairman Connaughton serves as the senior environmental advisor to the President as well as Director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy, which oversees the development of environmental policy, coordinates interagency implementation of environmental programs, and mediates key policy disagreements among Federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments and private citizens.   In addition to the duties and functions listed above, CEQ also has four specific NEPA responsibilities:

          E.O. 11514 as amended by E.O. 11991 

Sources: "Mastering NEPA: A Step-by-Step Approach," White House CEQ Website

AAEA Speaks at Maryland Black Caucus Foundation's 2004 Annual Legislative Weekend

The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus held its Annual Legislative Weekend on Oct 15 - 18, 2004. Delegate Claence Davis sponsored the Environmental Justice Workshop. The topic for the workshop was Water & Our Health. Participants included Phillip Lee, Engineer, Baltimore Harbor Watershed Assoc, Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Dr. Kelton Clark, Morgan State Univeristy's Equestrian Center, Ms. Zandra Campbell, Baltimore City Resident, Christel Cothran, Executive Director, Jones Falls Watershed Assoc and AAEA's president.

The Maryland Black Caucus Foundation (MBCF) is a nonprofit public policy group dedicated to the equitable participation of African Americans socially, economically, and educationally, in all aspects of public policy formulation and development. MBCF sponsors leadership seminars, issue forums, regional conferences and online exchanges.

The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland was incorporated in 1970 and is one of the largest grups of black legislators in the United States. The Caucus, as of 2005 has increased from its original membership of seventeen to its present complement of forty-two.

Delegate Michael Vaughn, Norris McDonald, Delegate Clarence Davis

Delegate Michael L. Vaughn is President of the Maryland Black Caucus Foundation and Delegate Clarence Davis is Chairman of the Environmental Justice Committee. Delegate Davis passed legislation adopting an environmental justice law for the state of Maryland during the 2004 legislative session.

AAEA Speaks at the Society of Environmental Journalists 14th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) held it 14th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA on October 20-24, 2005. The conference was hosted and sponsored by Carnegie Mellon and the theme was, " Improving the Quality, Accuracy and Visibility of Environmental Reporting." Founded in 1990, SEJ is a membership organization of working journalists dedicated to improving the quality, accuracy and visibility of environmental news reporting. SEJ programs include annual conferences, TipSheet, SEJournal, EJToday news digest, Awards for Reporting on the environment, diversity program, conference fellowships, mentoring program and the freedom-of-information Watchdog project.

Photo: Sandy McDonald

Derrick Jackson, Norris McDonald, Vivian Loftness & Panel Host David Jones

AAEA President Norris McDonald spoke on the environmental justice panel, which was chaired by David Jones a senior news and feature editor at Business Traveler, based in New York. For the past three years, David has been a freelance journalist based in Newark, NJ. In 2003, he was awarded a senior fellowship by SEJ.Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson Carnegie Mellon University architecture professor The panel also included Vivian Loftness a professor in the school of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and senior researcher at the Center for Building Performance. She is a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the AIA Committee on the Environment and the Federal Energy Management Council of the U.S. Department of Energy and Derrick Jackson, a columnist at the Boston Globe since 1988. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 2001. Prior to the Globe, Jackson was a news and sports reporter at Newsday and The Kansas City Star.

A lack of diversity in the biggest green organizations triggered the special Friday October 22, 2005 session at the Society of Environmental Journalists' annual conference in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review article

AAEA Speaks to New York Association of Black Journalists at Black Enterprise magazine New York Headquarters

AAEA President Norris McDonald

spoke to an audience of jounalists

at Black Enterprise magazine's New York Headquarters

on December 30, 2004.

The speech was arranged by Matthew Scott,

Personal Finance Editor of Black Enterprise magazine


President of the New York Association of Black Journalists.

McDonald talked about energy and environmental issues

in the New York Metropolitan Area


national issues.

He answered questions from the audience

and distributed information

about AAEA.


Norris McDonald, Deidre Owens - Urbanomics and Matthew Scott