Interview, Walter Andrews
Walter Andrews (b. 1941) was born in Martin County, North Carolina. After graduating from high school, Andrews received a scholarship to attend Ohio’s Wilberforce University, and he graduated from there with a degree in biology and chemistry in 1964. In 1968, Andrews earned his master’s degree in water quality from the University of Michigan. He was hired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in 1976 came to Rochester to work as Chief of the Rochester EPA office. In this position, Andrews worked to make the EPA more accessible and applicable to people of color. Andrews settled in Fairport, New York, with his wife and children and was an active member of the local Urban League.
In this interview, Andrews discusses his early life growing up on a farm, his family history, and his experience with segregated schools in North Carolina. He expresses pride in his work with the EPA and notes that he was one of the first and few African Americans to work for this organization. He also shares some of the negative experiences his children have encountered as racial minorities in the Fairport school system.