Sunday, December 14, 2008


Lisa P. Jackson and the Greening of Black America

Given the long history of environmental injustice suffered by people of color it is interesting that it has taken so long for Black people to emerge as political leaders on the environmental issue. I could be wrong about this, but there seems to be a new public awareness of environmental and greening issues as they relate to people of color. Indication of this to me was the announcement this week that President-elect Obama will select Lisa P. Jackson as the new head of the EPA. So, I thought I'd post a couple of videos of leading African American activists in health, food, and environmental justice. Earlier this month I threw up a post on urban environmental activist Majorca Carter. But, there are others of note, Van Jones of course; brotha Will Allen, and Lisa Jackson. The African American Environmentalist Association's blog is an excellent source for news on the greening of Black America. There are many more working in this area. I would appreciate comments that reveal others people of color working on green issues.

Dr. Robert Bullard

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Known as the "Father of Environmental Justice." In this presentation from UC Santa Barbara, Bullard takes a look at the connection between human rights and the politics of pollution. Go to about 9:35 into the video to hear him get into the meat of the discussion of Environmental Justice.

Will Allen

Will Allen is an urban farmer who is transforming the cultivation, production, and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. In 1995, while assisting neighborhood children with a gardening project, Allen began developing the farming methods and educational programs that are now the hallmark of the non-profit organization Growing Power, which he directs and co-founded.

Van Jones

In 1996, Van co-founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which advocates for juvenile justice reform, police reform, youth violence prevention and green-collar jobs. The Center's "Books Not Bars" campaign has successfully blocked construction of a super-jail for youth, closed two abusive youth prisons and helped to reduce California's youth prison population by 30 percent.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Van co-founded Color Of Change. Boasting 400,000 members, Color of Change has become the nation's biggest online advocacy organization that focuses on African-American issues.

Van is also a co-founder of a new national coalition that promotes the idea of a national "Clean Energy Jobs Corps." This multi-billion-dollar federal initiative would put hundreds of thousands of people to work rewiring and retrofitting the energy infrastructure of the United States.

Additionally, Van is a founding board member of the National Apollo Alliance and 1Sky, two national organizations promoting clean energy jobs and climate solutions.

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