Sunday, 7 October 2007

Green-collar heroes

"We fight both poverty and pollution at the same time," says Van Jones. The founder of Green for All, of the LA-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is creating “green collar” jobs in US cities. GFA aims at raising one billion dollars by 2012 to create “green pathways out of poverty” for 250,000 people. In a 5 Oct 07 interview on Living for Earth, Jones gave an example: “There's a wonderful program, which I just can't stop bragging on, called 'Solar Richment,' where they got a modest amount of money, got 20 guys—you know, low-income African American, Latino, Phillipino, one African-American woman. For nine weeks these guys got up, this young woman got up, every morning. They had to be there at nine o'clock. They had to learn these skills. Nine weeks later they did their first installation. There were local TV cameras there, solar employers were there saying, 'hey, we need workers.' And you know, the look on these young people's faces. Often these are the young men who are always seen as the villains and yet here they are, nine weeks later, African American, Latino, with the baggy pants, the hair or whatever, but they've got their work boots on, they've got their orange jerseys on, and they're doing this work. And they are the ecological heroes.”
See Green for All, article in, Van Jones video., UNEP study Green Jobs (published Sep 2008).

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