« The Battle in Kansas Continues Over Gargantuan Greenhouse Gas-Spewing Coal-Fired Power Plants | Main | The Alliance for Burning Every Chunk of Coal »

April 09, 2008

Dream Reborn: Green Jobs for All

This past weekend, April 4-6, thousands of people descended on Memphis, Tennessee, to celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King 40 years after his assassination. Civil rights leaders, community activists, faith and non-profit leaders were at the Dream Reborn conference to honor Dr. King in particular by sharing their dreams for economic justice in a new, green economy.

Participants at the first-ever event recognized the urgent need to transition away from polluting industries that have damaged the health of their communities and caused global warming. Many see the transition to a cleaner economy as an opportunity to create green pathways out of poverty -- jobs that contribute to cleaner air and enable those with barriers to employment (race, class, educational and cultural barriers) to achieve their dreams.

Speakers at the conference echoed Dr. King's dream for economic freedom and equal opportunity. During a powerful, emotionally-charged opening ceremony, Bracken Hendricks of Center for American Progress urged the audience to confront the threat of climate change, "the biggest human rights crisis in the world." Afeni Shakur, renowned activist and former member of the Black Panther Party, urged the audience to put its words about green jobs into action.

In the exhibit hall, during the plenary sessions and workshops, the high energy level was palpable. Panelists, many of them founders of green jobs training programs from Los Angeles to the Bronx, shared success stories with audiences full of young activists and students from Memphis, Atlanta, Baton Rouge and Oakland, from Minnesota, New Jersey and Alaska, including Sierra Club environmental justice program staff and leaders from the communities in which they work. Workshops, such as "Show Me the Money! Financing Green-Collar Jobs," provided a roadmap and resources for launching community green jobs, building efficiency, and clean water programs.

Majora Carter, of Sustainable South Bronx, and Van Jones, of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and founder of Green for All (see April 3 post) hosted the conference. Their organization envisions a country in which poor communities no longer suffer disproportionately from a dirty-energy economy and aims to build "an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty."

Check out the conference website and videos at www.dreamreborn.org and www.greenforall.org


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dream Reborn: Green Jobs for All:

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Rss Feed

Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.