Green For All Fellows Rock D.C.

Authors: Selim Sandoval, Green For All Fellow Selim Sandoval is the owner and founder of Growing Green Energy a renewable energy installation and green workforce development company. I am a Green For All Fellow, and I love it. Just last week, I got to take part in a Green for All Academy Convening in Washington, D.C. where I had the chance to work with other Fellows to think and talk about how best to support one another's work in rural and urban communities across the nation. In addition to talking with each other, we also got to deliver a clear message to Senators about America's need for a strong climate and energy bill. I am incredibly grateful to the Green for All Academy for providing this amazing learning community. Where else do young green leaders of color get to visit with national green leaders like EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Green For All founder and former White House staffer Van Jones. Those conversations gave me great hope that people in the Obama administration are prioritizing renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, local food production, green jobs, and green business development in rural communities. This is just the latest in a string of amazing and rewarding experiences since coming into contact with Green For All. When my friend Kolmi heard that Green for All was interested in supporting social entrepreneurs who had started green businesses, she nominated me. The Green For All Academy training was the first time I had been around so many people of color who were movers and shakers in the green economy. For years I had felt isolated, hardly knowing anyone else of color in my industry. It was a powerful moment for me and many of the other Fellows there. My experiences with Green for All helped me see the need to reach out to rural communities and build their capacity to participate in the green economy. I started the Green the Rez Campaign to support what Native American tribes were already doing in the green sector, helping with capacity building and sustainable community development. Along with Edward Samson, CEO of the Bishop Paiute Development Corporation, I launched the Green the Rez Campaign on the Bishop Paiute reservation and established a local green team to coordinate training, technical assistance, entrepreneurship training, sustainable economic development, and facilitation of funding and investment capital for green business development. Thanks to our early successes, the Green the Rez Campaign is now expanding to all 27 tribes in Nevada through a partnership with the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada's Renewable Energy Consortium. Being able to share my experiences with other grassroots leaders throughout the country — and figuring out how we can support each other — has been one of the greatest gifts of my time as a Green For All Fellow. It was inspiring and moving to hear about other Fellows' incredible successes and the impact they are having on their communities. I am excited to follow up with Green for All on the ideas and plans we developed at the convening in Washington, D.C. for supporting all of the Fellows in their work as grassroots leaders and social entrepreneurs.

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