A loan of $5,000 helped cover marketing and promotional expenses for an exciting new book release.

Michael's story

I am Michael McCray, a native Arkansan; I traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Clinton Administration and began my community development career working on the Presidential Empowerment Initiative, also known as the Federal Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) Initiative. I served with distinction as community development specialist and a National Speaker on community economic development and technology for USDA. I also toured the country conducting technology training and speaking engagements at three White House Empowerment Zone Conferences.

I blew the whistle on racism, corruption and $40 million of waste fraud and abuse at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As I result I suffered tremendous retaliation and harassment from the Federal government. This drastically changed my personal life and professional career for the worse. I lost a beautiful fiancée and promising Wall Street career. However, I vowed that I would not become a victim—instead I chose to fight back and become an outspoken public interest advocate. Consequently, I joined advocacy groups and coalitions, and I became an active member of the whistleblower community.

I am a founder of the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW) and a member of the Make It Safe Coalition (MISC). Each year we sponsor Washington Whistleblower Week which is the largest gathering of public interest groups and individual whistleblowers in the country. The purpose of this meeting is for legislative advocacy and to empower individual whistleblowers by providing a mutual support network for them.

We have had congressional hearings, plenary sessions, marches/rally’s, lobby day, book signing, movie nights, etc. As a result of my activism, I have met famous whistleblowers from around the country, including Frank Serpico (Serpico), Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich) Coleen Rowley (Time Magazine Person of the Year), Jeff Wigand (The Insider), and others.

Whistlebloweing is a time-honored tradition that is as American as apple pie. Paul Revere was perhaps the first American whistleblower—“the British are coming, the British are coming.” And Abraham Lincoln enacted the first whistleblower law following the civil war. I am proud to say that after 13 years of struggle, we finally passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) this year. This is the first whistleblower protection legislation in the 21st century.

I came to realize that while most whistleblowers eventually lose their cases; every whistleblower I knew had one hell of story to tell (win, lose or draw). It was that knowledge that inspired me to create American Banner Books, which is an independent small press that publishes whistleblower books. It is the only book imprint, which tells stories by individual whistleblowers, in there own words. The first book release is “RACE, POWER & POLITICS” the inside story of ACORN. Ultimately, American Banner will also release books, screenplays and movies.
As an author, I dealt with the organization’s controversies firsthand as an ACORN National Board Member. In my new book RACE, POWER & POLITICS, I peel back the veil of secrecy within the organization, and gives the public an inside look at the hypocrisy and corruption that brought down the once-venerable advocacy group.

Today, I am a dedicated human rights and public interest advocate. A Howard University, American University and Georgetown University Law Center alumnus, I am committed to education and teach community economic development and finance at Prairie View A&M University as a visiting graduate professor. I am also a former National Board Member of ACORN.

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About Williams & Associates Communications d/b/a American Banner Books

Industry: Services
Years in operation: 6 months - 1 year
Website: acorn8.com

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