Green For All Building an inclusive green economy Fri, 16 Jan 2015 23:23:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Report: Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Communities Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:28:18 +0000

Climate change threatens the health and well being of all Americans. But low-income communities, people of color, and other vulnerable groups are more at-risk from pollution and climate-related catastrophes. Recent natural disasters leave little dispute over the fact that in the face of severe weather, those with the fewest resources have a harder time preparing, escaping, surviving, and recovering.

Green For All’s new report details solutions and strategies for increasing the ability of vulnerable communities to survive–and thrive–in the face of climate change. 

READ THE REPORT: Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Communities

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Green For All on Tour Wed, 19 Nov 2014 01:38:26 +0000 Green For All partnered with the Climate Action Campaign to visit cities around the country–collecting ideas and engaging communities of color on the issue of climate change.

Throughout the summer and fall, we worked with local leaders to host events highlighting the threat of climate change to communities of color. Local folks called on the EPA to enact strong carbon pollution safeguards, which will help protect clean air and fight global warming. Stops on the tour included:


Bronx, NY – August 2, 2014

As the first stop in our tour, Green For all joined forces with Green For All Fellow Tanya Fields and her organization The Blk Projek to hold the second annual “Not Just Talk Summit.” This year’s theme was “Radical Women creating Resilient Communities,” and it featured some truly amazing participants. Held on Saturday August 2nd in the South Bronx, the day featured keynotes from powerful women speakers like Executive Director of Uprose Elizabeth Yeampierre, Green For All Fellow and Indigenous activist Beata Tsosie Pena and musician and activist Jennifer Johns, as well as the director of the NYC Food and Fitness Partnership, Dara Cooper. In addition to powerful music and keynote presentations, the day featured a number of workshops and a full brunch provided by The day culminated with the unveiling and ribbon cutting of the Blk Projek’s Solar Powered mobile food market, powered by Green Mountain Energy. Green For All was the lead sponsor for this event and was able to garner support for the EPA’s carbon rule engaging the over 100 attendees throughout the day to sign comment cards.

Tucson, AZ – September 16

We partnered with Green For All Fellow Luis Perales and Tierra Y Libertad Organization (TYLO) and other local groups on a community education event addressing the issues of the urban Latino community struggling with concerns over energy costs and the Indigenous community bearing the brunt of extractive industries on Native lands.

Greensboro, NC – September 7

Green For All Fellow Jada Drew helped host a community engagement day focusing on issues ranging from coal alternatives to food justice and food access issues in Greensboro. The event was geared to families and young people. It featured local entertainment and highlighted partner organizations doing work on the ground.

New Orleans, LA – August 30

We worked with Green For All Fellow John Moore and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental justice organization that works on air quality issues in low-income communities throughout the state. We hosted an event in a predominantly Black community in New Orleans, featuring food and entertainment, as well as an opportunity for community members to participate in air quality testing related to a coal burning power plant in the area.

Minneapolis, MN – May 15, 2014

Green For All worked in concert with the Climate Action Campaign, The Sierra Club’s Minnesota Environmental Justice group, and other co-sponsors to host a Climate Justice Now Community Forum in Minneapolis. During the forum, Nikki Silvestri highlighted how combatting climate change can be a pathway to cultivating healthy and safe communities and economic prosperity for Minnesota’s communities of color. A lively crowd of more than 200 people turned out for the event, which brought together local and national leaders who care about how communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income families are disproportionally affected by climate change and air pollution.

Denver, CO – June 14, 2014

Team Green For All partnered with the Denver Juneteenth Music Festival to present Juneteenth’s first “Keep it Fresh Zone,” featuring full-day activities including a local farmers market, giveaways, raw food demos, live DJs, hip-hop performances, and interactive exhibits. The activities led up to the main event: the Keep It Fresh Awards, which recognized local and national community activists who are leading efforts to make sure that fresh air, fresh water, fresh food, a healthy body, and a fresh way of thinking are not a privilege, but a right for everyone. Green For All’s Nikki Silvestri presented the Keep It Fresh Awards along with Green For All Fellow DJ Cavem Moetavation and Grammy-nominated duo Les Nubians.

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Online Micro-Survey: City Services, Health & Costs Are Top Concerns in Communities Facing Climate Change Impacts Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:25:56 +0000 Residents from eight cities around the country answered an online survey question in August to make their concerns and needs known when it comes to impacts of global warming such as more extreme storms, heat, sea level rise, flooding, drought, and wildfires. The survey was promoted via Facebook to communities of color in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Tucson and Los Angeles.

Here are the findings:

· Three concerns rose to the top overall: reliability of basic services like water, sewer, electrical, and public transit (77%); health impacts from heat, asthma, or allergies (66%); and economic consequences such as rising food, utility, or emergency response costs (65%).
· Concern about reliability of basic city services was especially high in the Northeast (82%), but it was also cited more frequently than any other issue in the other two regions as well.
· On economic issues, concern about possible rising food, utility, or emergency costs was highlighted more frequently than potential personal financial toll from property damage or health problems, by a more than 20-point margin. Respondents in the Northeast showed the most concern about such costs (72%), compared to 60% in the Southwest and 61% in the Southeast.
· Adequate emergency response or evacuation plans for neighborhoods was a more common concern for respondents in the Southeast (57%) and Northeast (54%) than in the Southwest (40%).
· Protecting parks and natural/recreation areas was a particular priority for respondents in the Southwest (60%), whereas this issue was not highlighted as a top concern by majorities in the other two regions.

Green for All worked with Resource Media to develop and promote the online ‘micro-survey’ via Facebook.

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GFA Climate Justice Call with EPA Administrator McCarthy 8/26 Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:55:31 +0000 Carbon Pollution Standards & the African American Community: Why We Fight for Regulations

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Progress Illinois Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:35:55 +0000 EPA Holds ‘Clean Power’ Hearings; Poll Finds Climate Change To Be A Hot Topic For Minority Voters. Read the full story here.

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Climate Change in Communities of Color on NewsOne Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:05:15 +0000 Nikki Silvestri and Dorien Paul joined Roland Martin Wednesday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss how changes in our climate are impacting the health and well being of the African American community. Listen to their entire conversation here.

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Clark Atlanta Ambassadors Join with Community in Gardening Event Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:04:13 +0000 On Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 9am- 1pm, I, along with my fellow Ambassador Vicky Valera, organized an awesome community activity for Clark Atlanta University students. We collaborated with the Miss Women’s Leadership Council of Clark Atlanta University and presented the event, “Farming Atlanta.” We arrived at 8:30 a.m. at the Clark Atlanta University campus student center to welcome our fellow students and get ready for the day’s activities. After meeting at the student center we walked to a nearby community farm. We walked so that we could reduce the carbon footprint of our event. Every little bit helps.

When we arrived at Patchwork City Farms we listened to our host speak about what the farmers do and everything that was planted on the farm and what we would be doing for the day. I thought one of the most interesting things that we learned about the farm was that they plant vegetables for all of the different seasons of the year, and not just the traditional spring/summer growing seasons. The farm acts as a community garden where anyone in the neighborhood can go and plant anything that they please with no membership or fees of any kind. Throughout the day, we harvested greens, tomatoes, flowers, and peppers. We also fed chickens and replanted vegetables. The event represented a great opportunity to share the power of urban farming and the importance of a community garden space with Clark Atlanta students. We look forward to continuing to partner with Patchwork City Farms in the near future.

-Cydnie Melson, Green For All College Ambassador

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Polluters Lose, Communities Win Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:03:15 +0000 What if you could not only vote for who your representatives are, but also how they legislate? In Brazil and the United Kingdom, you can. And the idea is catching on in cities across the U.S.—including New York, Chicago, and Buffalo. These cities are beginning to incorporate participatory budgeting into some aspects of city management. Participatory budgeting allows community members to make real decisions about how money is spent in their city. In participatory budgeting, residents identify spending priorities, develop specific spending proposals, vote on which proposals to fund, and work with the city to implement the top proposals.

The result? A chance to feed two birds with one seed—by making sure that funds generated by cracking down on polluters help create healthier, more vibrant communities. Take a look at Buffalo, New York, where theClean Air Coalition of Western New York recently led the charge for accountability by polluters Tonawanda Coke Corporation—and won.  Tonawanda Coke was found guilty of violating federal clean air regulations.  Its environmental manager was also found guilty of hiding plant deficiencies from U.S. regulators. Part of the settlement from these cases—up to $50 million—could be allotted for projects designed to improve life for local residents.

Green For All Fellow Natasha Soto, an organizer with the Clean Air Coalition, helped initiate a participatory budgeting process to decide how to use the funds from the fines to improve the community that was affected by the company’s violations. After assemblies, hundreds of calls, and establishment of polling places throughout the area, nearly 600 residents voted for the projects they thought were most important.

The project that received the most votes would work with manufacturers to reduce toxic chemicals use and improve energy and water efficiency.  Other top projects include the development of a health institute, buying and developing land for energy generation, growing a tree farm, and conducting a health study on the effects of air pollution on the community.

A judge will now decide the fine the company will have to pay. A portion of the fine could be allocated to fund health-related community-led projects. The complete list of projects was sent to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. The Clean Air Coalition and its members delivered a strong message that they want healthier communities—and they have great ideas on how to make that happen.

- Maritza Martinez


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