Monday, August 9, 2010

Remembering Environmental Justice Legend Dana Alston

Dana Alston was 47 years old when she died 11 years ago on August 7, 1999.

Dana Alston, left, was a leader of the original environmental justice movement that started in the 1980's. She was one of the organizers of the first National Environmental Justice Leadership Summit in 1992. She participated in the meetings to convince the U.S. EPA to open an Office of Environmental Justice. She was a committed environmental justice activist and the movement clearly benefited from her leadership. We remember you Dana. And we will never forget you.

Dana Alston received a Bannerman Fellowship in 1992 in recognition of her leadership in the development of the environmental justice movement. The Bannerman Fellowship Program was founded in 1987 on the belief that the most effective approach to achieving progressive social change is by organizing low-income people at the grassroots level. In 2002, the Fellowship Program was renamed the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Program in honor of Dana Alston.

Dana died on August 7, 1999 at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Dana was a native of New York and lived in Washington, D.C. She was in San Francisco for treatment of kidney disease and consequences of a stroke when she died.

Her son, Khalil Alston-Cobb, now 17, resides in Clinton, Maryland. He is (or was at 16) a skateboard enthusiast (see videos). Here is how Khalil describes himself on his MySpace page:

"I like Skateboarding, Playing videogames, listening to music, talking to Gurls, surfing the Web, and Chillin wit the Homies."
Khalil is also on Twitter. He has a great skateboarding video on He is listed on Children of the Struggle. Dana would be very proud of her teenage son. All who knew her are not surprised that Khalil is an energetic and productive young man.

Monday, August 2, 2010

NRDC Job Announcement: Program Assistant, Chicago Office

Natural Resources Defense Council
Job Announcement

Program Assistant
Chicago Office

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a global non-profit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. We have offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Beijing, China. Our staff of over 350 includes lawyers, scientists, economists, and policy experts who work to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education.

Position Summary:

NRDC seeks a Program Assistant to work in its Chicago Office. The Program Assistant will provide administrative support to the Director and Deputy Director of the Midwest Program, and the Midwest Director of Development. The candidate must be able to efficiently handle administrative tasks such as: coordinating and booking travel, handling phone calls, scheduling and coordinating meetings, processing expenses, handling budgets, proofreading and preparing materials.

Essential Functions:

• Scheduling and facilitating various internal and external meetings;
• Maintaining calendar appointments and meetings for Director and Deputy Director of Midwest Program;
• Processing invoices and business expenses;
• Tracking restricted grants and discretionary spending;
• Coordinating schedules and travel arrangements;
• Proofreading and editing correspondence;
• Coordinating mailings to donors and members;
• Providing general administrative support; Researching prospective donors and maintaining prospect lists for eight Midwestern states; and
• Providing support for development events.

Skills and Knowledge Requirements:

• Bachelors degree and interest in environmental issues a plus;
• 2-5 years previous administrative experience;
• Excellent written and verbal communications skills;
• Strong interpersonal skills;
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with the capability of handling multiple tasks at once;
• Must have the ability to work independently, prioritize multiple projects, and perform well under deadlines;
• Ability to maintain confidentiality a must;
• Excellent time-management skills;
• Ability to work well under pressure and be detail-oriented; and,
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment and is committed to workplace diversity. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. To apply please visit Please include salary requirements in your cover letter. Application deadline is Monday, August 9, 2010. No phone calls or faxes please. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For further information about NRDC, please visit