Speaking out against discrimination and other problems in the workplace has long incurred intimidation and the threat of job loss. But today “whistleblowers” can be less fearful thanks to Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, former senior policy analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and founder of the No FEAR Coalition.

In her Technology and Society presentation, Coleman-Adebayo will share her own experiences as a whistleblower, experiences rooted in the plight of South African vanadium miners.

Coleman-Adebayo faced intense personal difficulties at EPA when she served as the liaison to the White House on the Gore-Mbeki Commission, a Clinton administration foreign policy program involving South Africa. Reporting that an American company exposed their African miners to deadly vanadium dust, she was relieved of her responsibilities on the commission. Her investigative efforts were stifled and she was subjected to personal abuse.

In 2000, Coleman-Adebayo won an historic lawsuit against EPA for violating her civil rights on the basis of race and gender, and creating a hostile work environment. She subsequently testified before Congress on two occasions. As a result, the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act (No FEAR) was introduced by Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Senator John Warner. Along with the No FEAR Coalition, she ushered the No FEAR Bill through Congress. President George W. Bush signed the No FEAR Act into law, directly benefitting thousands of federal workers.

Coleman-Adebayo, who holds a PhD from MIT, currently serves on the board of directors of the National Whistleblowers Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to protecting the rights of employee whistleblowers.

For More Information: Contact Jay Kappraff, kappraff@njit.edu or 973-596-3490

Co-sponsors: NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College, College of Science and Liberal Arts, Department of Physics, Murray Center for Women in Technology, NJIT Educational Opportunity Program, Graduate Student Association, Sigma Xi.

Visit the NJIT Technology and Society Forum on the Web at http://tsf.njit.edu

Previous Forum presentations are available at http://itunes.njit.edu; search for “Technology and Society Forum.” 

Visit the NJIT Chapterf of Sigma Xi at http://www.njit.edu/professional_society/sigmaxi/

NJIT welcomes attendees from Essex County College, Rutgers-Newark, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.


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