Evolved Man of the Week: Aaron Mair

Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to environmentalist, activist, Navy veteran, and the former president of the Sierra Club, Aaron Mair.

Aaron Mair was born in Valhalla, NY after his parents emigrated from Jamaica. He is a graduate of Binghamton University. He trained at the Naval Education and Training Center and studied at American University in Cairo.

Mr. Mair is a long time environmental justice activist and environmentalist. He founded the Arbor Hill Environmental Justice Corporation and Environmental Education Center. He was a member of New York League of Conservation Voters in 2000, and Mr. Mair is the winner of the EPA Environmental Quality Award. In 2015, Aaron Mair became the first black president of the Sierra Club.  The Sierra Club was one of the first large-scale environmental preservation organizations in the world and currently engages in lobbying politicians to promote environmentalist policies.

Here is Aaron Mair in his own words about creating a voice in the environmental movement for those individuals who are usually overlooked which are people of color and the have-nots:

The Sierra Club right now is at the ground floor of networking and tying these things together. It’s now working and advocating in places it never traditionally did. You just did not have the Sierra Club doing civil right marches because people thought a civil rights march was something different from protecting the environment. But the right to vote shapes land use policy that protects the environment. In fact, to this day, a lot of the pushback within the Sierra Club is people saying we’re straying away from our mission. My argument is educating them to understand that, no, protecting civil rights and labor rights are critical to our mission. It’s by having a voice from the left, the blue-collar labor and civil rights community, being at the helm of an environmental organization where you are able to see how that all comes together. If you want to know what environmental success looks like, it’s multi-ethnic.”

I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Aaron Mair, and I’m happy to call him a colleague and inspiration. Today we honor Aaron Mair has our Evolved Man of the Week.

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