28 Green Heroes Week 4
Elder Eric Darrisaw
Elder Eric Darrisaw’s passion for environmental sustainability can be seen through his work. Previously, he was a speaker at the Croatan Forum. An extension of the Croatan Institute, the Croatan Forum is a gathering where people come together to discuss the intersectionality of sustainability, finance, and economic development. During the Forum, Darrisaw spoke with like minded individuals about solutions to environmental racism, like creating ‘regenerative agriculture’ ( a clean and sustainable way of farming) and promoting financial stability for everyone. Darrisaw has made a career out of fighting for social justice. He started by working on South African Divestment issues. He also provided help to the 100+ Billion Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility Equality program when it came to diversifying the board. Currently, he is a consultant with the Omniresearch Group, a specialist for Fiduciary Education, and he helps organizations with their finances.
Mrs. Veronica Kyle is the Outreach Director for Faith in Place, a non-profit in Chicago, Illinois. For the past 20 years, Faith in Place has helped to empower over 1,000 places of worship protect their land, air, and water. Veronica has made it her duty to create a more diverse table of citizens to discuss taking care of the earth. People of color have often been left out of discussions that deal with environmental sustainability, something that Veronica seeks to change. Kyle has created programs that diversified the discussion as well as brought about cross-cultural engagement. In 2013, Kyle was identified as the 2013 Audubon/Toyota Green Fellow. In 2014, she was recognized as a Northern American Association of Environmental Educators Fellow. Currently, she is sitting in her fourth term as an appointed Environmental Justice Commissioner of the State of Illinois.
Rev. Garry A. Harris
Rev. Garry A. Harris has worked with many organizations in the name of helping communities become strong enough to withstand the effects of global warming on the environment. He serves as the president of the Center for Sustainable Communities and Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG). The Center for Sustainable Communities is a non-profit organization that helps communities become greener, healthier, and resistant to climate changes through research, project and program development, technical assistance, policy and advocacy. SSG is a source that provides sustainability, energy engineering and power generation technical services. Harris has also worked with the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Georgia Energy and Industrial Electric Corporation, Emerald Cities Collaborative Atlanta, and Better Building Challenge Atlanta, and many more. His work has gotten him recognized, rewarded, and esteemed positions in associations like 100 Black Men of Atlanta and Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Harris received his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Technology Management and another M.S. in Quality Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently seeking a PhD in Energy and Environmental Policy from the school as well. Harris is the Ministry Leader at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA.
Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris
Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris is an Associate Professor at Texas Christian University. She specializes in educating students on Environmental Ethics, Christian Social Ethics, Womanist Ethics, Interreligious Dialogue, Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, and Ecowomanism. Dr. Harris is a GreenFaith Fellow who has partnered with organizations like Green For All. Dr. Harris sits as the co-director of Earth Honoring Faith with Ghost Ranch Education and Conference Center. Dr. Harris is also an accomplished author, her book ‘Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth-honoring Faith is a thought provoking read that features women of African descent who have made valuable contributions to environmental justice. Rev. Harris began her journey through education with a B.A. from Spelman College in English and Sacred Music in 1997. She received her M.Div. from Iliff School of Theology in 2001. In 2004, she received an M.A. in Religious Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in the City of NY. Her last stop was at the Union Theological Seminary in the City of NY, where she received her Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics in 2006. Harris has also authored many articles and books.
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond began her work for the community in 2001 when she became the executive director of Project HIP-HOP (Highways Into the Past—History, Organizing, and Power). Her work in Project HIP-HOP got her the Roxbury Founder’s Day award in 2004. In 2005, She also received the Boston Celtics “Heroes Among Us Award”. Rev. White-Hammond was also a Faith Fellow at the Green Justice Coalition (GJC), where she worked on getting the faith community involved in helping their communities achieve environmental justice. She also served as the minister for Ecological Justice for Bethel A.M.E. Church in Boston, MA. Currently, Rev. White-Hammond is the pastor of the New Roots A.M.E. Church in the Greater Boston Area.
Rev. Dr. Morris G. Henderson
Rev. Dr. Morris G. Henderson recently retired as pastor of Thirty-first Street Baptist Church in Church Hill a historic district in Richmond, VA. During his tenure as pastor of this historic 102 year old church, the Darrel Rollins Memorial Community Garden was founded in honor of Pastor Darrel Rollins, Dr. Henderson’s predecessor at the church. Dr. Henderson’s vision was to make sure the Church Hill community had access to fresh food. In 2015, the community garden received national recognition as it was the first operation of its kind to be designated as an urban farm by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The garden includes a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, it also has sunflowers to attract honeybees and beehives to harvest the raw honey. Dr. Henderson is a graduate of Jackson State University. He earned his master’s of divinity from Virginia Union University and his doctorate in ministry from Howard University’s School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.