28 Green Heroes Week 2
Dr. Heber Brown
Dr. Heber Brown III is the Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD. He has studied at Morgan State University and Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Dr. Brown has a heart for activism, which led him to launch the Black Church Food Security Network that “provides seed funding and support to help churches begin growing food on their land. The Network also links Black Churches and Black Farmers in partnership in an effort to create a community-controlled, alternative food system based on self-sufficiency and Black food and land sovereignty.” The sweet potato pie featured was made with ingredients grown on Harriet Tubman’s ancestral land.
Kimberly Lewis’ dedication to creating healthier communities has resulted in numerous awards and leadership opportunities. A graduate of Hood College, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science. Currently, Lewis sits as the Senior Vice President of the U.S Green Building Council and works to diversify and globalize the growing USGBC network. She also oversees the USGBC events, most notably the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. Lewis serves on the advisory boards for Marriott International Hotels, Starwood Hotels, and the convention and visitors bureaus in New Orleans. She is also a member of the Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). On the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), she works as a member of the CSR Task Force. In 2011, Lewis was noted as the White House Champion of Change for Clean Energy. In the same year, she became the president of the Green Meetings Industry Council’s Greater Washington Area Chapter.
Rue Mapp began her body of work with a blog called Outdoor Afro in 2009. Outdoor Afro, a network that ‘celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature’ was able to gain the attention of many through the approach of making personal connections and community organizing. The blog has blossomed into an entity that has been noticed by major organizations for calling attention to the need for more diversity in the outdoors. Mapp’s invitation to the White House was initially for her to participate in America’s Great Outdoors Conference. She would then go on to work on the launch of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Backpacker Magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, Ebony Magazine, Sunset Magazine, NPR, and others. She has also been listed as one of the most influential African Americans in the U.S. by The Root 100 in 2012 and 2016. Among many awards, she also was presented with the National Wildlife Federation Communication award, which she received alongside President Bill Clinton.
Queen Leia Lewis
Queen Leia Lewis (B.A., M.A., and M.A.T.) got connected with Green The Church by being a Green For All Fellow along with Dr. Ambrose Carroll. While attending the University of New Orleans, Lewis fell in love with the art and the culture of the community in which she resided. After she was done with her education, she went on to establish Sankofa Gardens of Shreveport, LA. Lewis has worked for Sankofa Gardens since, though it’s gone through a hiatus, she is now looking for long term members. The most challenging part of Sankofa Gardens is finding continuity of participation. Apart from individual visitors, schools and other groups come to Sankofa Gardens to do a few days of service. Lewis wants for Sankofa Gardens to go from grassroots to an actual institution of learning. The learning center would be community based, specializing in teaching the students the variety of ways in which they can grow their own produce. It could only magnify in what the Gardens does now: meeting people where they are, understanding people’s’ lives, and educating them as much as possible.
Rev. Rodrick K. Burton
Rev. Rodrick K. Burton received his Masters in Educational Ministry at the Covenant Theological Seminary. After completing his studies, he went on to create “Ethics and the Black Church”, a Sunday school curriculum. Burton acted as a ruling Elder-Elect at New Life Presbyterian Church until 2009. Rev. Rodrick K. Burton is the Pastor at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO. Burton pushed for his church to get solar panels because of he believed it’s important for churches to do their part in the fight against climate change. Rev. Burton has served as vice president of the Ecumenical Leadership Council, member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition, and board member of the St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence. He also served at the United States Marine Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA.
Rev. Ken Chambers
Rev. Ken Chambers, Oakland Native and founder of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County, has remained passionate about the community surrounding him. He has served as the Pastor of West Side Missionary Baptist Church for over 30 years. Chambers serves as the president of the Interfaith Council of Alameda, an organization committed to justice within the community. Recently, ICAC pledged to combat homelessness in Oakland by leasing their parking lots for temporary housing as well as safe car-parking areas. The deal included bathrooms and garbage disposal for those who needed them. In 2016, The West Side M.B.C. was recognized for their work in the No Coal campaign in Oakland. The campaign pushes for communities to understand the threats of coal mining emissions in their communities.