- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556528183
- ISBN-13: 978-1556528187
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,615,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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"Intensely gripping. . . . Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's story refuses to leave the reader's memory. She is a cool force of nature whose example teaches how to stand down fear and victoriously stand up for what is right. More will be right when others join her." —Ralph Nader
"A remarkable book: absolute must reading for anyone who cares about civil rights, whistleblowers, and justice." —Stephen M. Kohn, executive director, National Whistleblowers Center
"A taut legal thriller…Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's memoir No Fear had me hooked from the first lines." —Essence
"Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's account of cowardice and betrayal at the EPA demonstrates that heroines like herself are indeed necessary. . . . The same agency that facilitated the poisoning of miners and their families in South Africa allows its own citizens to sicken and die for the sake of corporate profits. Do not ask for whom the whistle blows—it blows for all of us." —Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report
"Dr. Coleman-Adebayo presents the public a trenchant critique of how the US government too often not only turns a blind eye, but also enables the worst kinds of human rights practices by its multinational corporations abroad. Her unique insider position and her principled commitment were what made her dangerous to the federal bureaucracy. Thankfully, she did not give up. This book is a must-read if you’re concerned with government accountability and want a rare inside look at the toll willful government negligence can take on individuals, families, and communities." —Danielle Brian, president, Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
"Marsha's insider's account, told with startling clarity, is a call to action. Her courageous accomplishments, especially with the No FEAR legislation and Coalition, have helped to fortify and protect those who take up that call." —Dr. Willard R. Johnson, MIT professor emeritus of political science
"Marsha Coleman-Adebayo clearly and engagingly tells us Americans a truth that we might not want to hear but should." —Dal LaMagna, author of Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right
"This is an inspiring and worthwhile trek through one woman's brave battle against a system favoring the powerful." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the founder and president of the No Fear Institute. She served as the executive secretary of the EPA’s Environment Working Group, working with their delegation to the Gore/Mbeki Binational Commission during the Clinton administration. Her victory in the Title VII complaint of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in Coleman-Adebayo vs. Carol Browner inspired the passage of the No Fear Act of 2002.
Noam Chomsky is a world-renowned linguist and social critic considered by many to be the world’s foremost intellectual. He is the author of 120 books.
Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy is a former liaison to Congress and three former presidents for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He organized the I Have a Dream” speech on the National Mall in 1963, was a cofounder of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the District of Columbia's sole congressman in the House of Representatives for 20 years.
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This book is a spell bounding time capsule of modern day events that mirrors history and exemplify a divine antidote against everlasting evil while offering a dosage of eternal vigilance.
I remember distinctly sitting in a conference room with Dr. Marsha Colemen-Adebayo who we affectionately know as "Marsha". We were told that our No FEAR law -- sitting in a Congressional Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington DC under the control of committee Chair, Senator Joseph Lieberman -- "was dead on arrival".
Yes, much like Black Americans who were degraded and literally forced to take a back seat on the bus during the infamous "Jim Crow" era in the 1960's and before, it appeared that our heartfelt dreams and concerns would be trumped by political operatives deciding that passage of the No FEAR ACT as the first 21st Century Civil Rights legislation under a Republican President (BUSH) would be the wrong thing to do.
But as the tears welled up in our eyes I looked at Marsha my Co-Chair on the No FEAR Coalition and asked; Marsha can we still get this bill pushed out of Congressional Committee and passed with so much political opposition in this national Democrat versus Republican climate.
I will always remember Marsha's words to me at that time. "Yes Matthew, we can make this happen."
And so, at that time the lyrics to a famed song by Whitney Houston became reality that day. It was one moment in time when we where racing with destiny.
I was brave enough and loyal enough to believe Marsha and follow her tenacious leadership. This book is a powerful testament of a brave women, her Coalition and her place in history.
To my friend and No FEAR Coalition Co Chair, I dedicate this song to you for memorializing a fantastic journey to justice. Click On YouTube "One Moment In Time" by Whitney Houston
Words in the song > ["I want one moment in time - When I'm more than I thought I could be ~ When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away and the answers are all up to me ~ Give me one moment in time when I'm racing with destiny ~ Then in that one moment of time I will feel, I will feel eternity"]
I Samuel 17:49-50
Taking on the United States government, who has shown itself capable of printing as much money as it needs when it is deemed necessary by circumstances to do so, is to face an infinite army of Goliaths. When the challenger is one person, an African-American woman, and her attorney who is working on a contingency basis, armed only with the twin modesties of truth and persistence, to hold any hope of success seems foolish, if not mad. Yet, it is the force of facts upon which justice rests. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, for ten years, was its champion, a relentless pursuer of the protective guarantees provided by law.
No Fear is Ms. Coleman-Adebayo's account of her long struggle to correct the systemic racism within the Environmental Protection Agency, from which she had been fired, during the early years of the Clinton-Gore administration through the early years of the Bush White House. Dubbed as the first civil rights and whistleblower legislation of the twenty-first century, the No FEAR Act assures federal government employees that the law is on their side when they report corruption, criminal activity, and unlawful discrimination within the government.
After being reared by her mother Marsha Coleman attended Barnard College, and later earned her doctorate from MIT where noted activist, Noam Chomsky, served on her dissertation committee. She became passionate about African studies while at MIT and quickly became active in human rights issues in South Africa in the early years after Nelson Mandela's release from prison. While at MIT, she met her future husband, Segun Adebayo, whom she frequently credits in her book as being a source of endless strength and spiritual support.
By all appearances Coleman-Adebayo was on the fast track. She earned a position with the EPA under the administration of Carol Browner and was appointed as the lead person in the Gore-Mbeki initiative, presumably to aid the new government in its exodus out of the throes of apartheid. Coleman-Adebayo took her mission seriously, too seriously for the EPA.
Thrust upon her in South Africa was a deadly environmental illness occurring in workers who were exposed daily to the mineral vanadium, a lightweight mineral considered strategic because of its ability to strengthen steel. It became apparent to Coleman-Adebayo that the EPA was interested in serving big business rather than alleviating human suffering. She watched as her position of leadership was handed to lesser qualified colleagues who were more willing to provide the kind of emphasis the EPA had in mind, that is, the enhancement of business opportunities for American multinational companies. Not clearly stated in her book, but implied, is that the EPA was serving the interests of the Vice President's office.
The book details the long journey to justice, her victory over the EPA in its discriminatory practices resulting in an award of $600,000 in her court case, her long trek through the legislative process, aided by a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives, then the struggle to get out of Senator Joe Lieberman's Committee on Governmental Affairs for a Senate floor vote, and finally the signing into law by President George W. Bush in 2002.
The strengths of Coleman-Adebayo's book are its fine details, its personal passion and warmth, and the template it offers to aspiring activists. Readers who reach for such details, those who have more than a cursory interest in the workings of massive government bureaucracy and the corruption that often accompanies it, will give No Fear a prominent place on their bookshelves. Coleman-Adebayo is engaging, and her story is well-told.
Standing against the forces of giants, speaking truth to power, is one of the loneliest places one can stand. It causes one to question her own abilities, her own faults, and her own motives. The author says, "All I had to do was stop being me." Almost unanimously, people choose the easier path, one of non-resistance, ultimately complicit, the "play along to get along" mentality. But, tide-turning historical events are those whose champions, sometimes armed only with small stones, deliver their arsenal of truth with divine precision and unwavering commitment. This is the story of No Fear.
Article first published as Book Review: No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo on Blogcritics