Queens environmental group honors CUER’s Professor Bratspies


(from left to right) Bess Debethan, Melvin McCrae, CUER Director Rebecca Bratspies,

The Eastern Queens Alliance recently honored CUER Director Rebecca Bratspies at its annual Idlewild Wetland and Wildlife Benefit and Award Luncheon.

This year’s theme, “Our Communities Matter,” resonated throughout the afternoon, as community activists discussed a variety of local environmental campaigns, including protecting the Idlewild Park Preserve, reducing airplane noise from John F. Kennedy Airport, and the planned opening of the Idlewild Park Salt Marsh Environmental Science Learning Center.

A range of elected officials attended the luncheon, including Congressman Gregory W. Meeks of the 5th Congressional District, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Assembly Member Michele R. Titus of Assembly District 31 and Council Member Donovan Richards, Jr. of the 31st Council District.

Professor Bratspies received the 2015 Snowy Egret Going Green/Healthy Environment Award, in recognition of her scholarly work, research and publications in the areas of urban sustainability and environmental justice. Particularly, the EQA recognized CUER’s efforts teaching environmental justice to elementary school students in Astoria, through the use of the innovative comic book Mayah’s Lot.

Also at the event, held October 3 at the Terrace on the Park banquet hall at Flushing Meadows Park, the EQA recognized the following activists:

Sustainability: Lynda Blackmon Lowery

Civil rights activist; Author of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

Youth Engagement: Melvin McCray

Award-winning ABC News journalist; Creator of Digital Media Training Program in Harlem

Health and Wellness: Dr. Andrew Correia, Dr. Junenette Peters, Dr. Jonathan I. Levy, Dr. Steven Melly, and Dr. Francesca Dominici

For seminal research: “Residential Exposure to Aircraft Noise and Hospital Admissions for Cardiovascular Diseases: Multi-airport Retrospective Study”

Community Spirit and Engagement: Reverend Phil Craig 

Pastor, The Greater Springfield Community Church; President National Action Network Queens Chapter

Peace and Safety: Zanzana Meacham

Vice President, Rosedale Civic Association; Coordinator, Rosedale Civic Association Civilian Patrol, Vice President of Laurelton Gardens Coop Association

Housing and Land Use: Bess Debetham

Member of Queens Community Board 13, Chairperson of Transportation Committee, Member of CB 13 Parks and Land Use Committees,

Arts, History and Culture: John Watusi Branch

Founder and Executive Director of the Afrikan Poetry Theatre

*Posthumous Award


poster announcing awards