Reflections from the 3rd Green For All Academy

Authors: Mahfam Malek Mahfam Malek is a Program Manager for the Green For All Academy. Last week, something magical happened here in Oakland. A group of 48 activists, artists, community leaders, spiritual leaders, and other folks who are integral to creating, growing, and sustaining an equitable and green economy gathered. They came from all over: Detroit to Philly, Ottawa to Denver, San Francisco to Santa Fe, Williamson, WV to Milwaukee, WI. They represented cities, tribal communities, students & youth, communities affected by the coal industry, folks with barriers to employment, and more. And they came together to form the third class of the Green For All Academy - a year-long fellowship kicked off by a three-day training in leadership development, communication & story-telling, media presentation skills, and more. The Academy also gave the participants the opportunity to connect with one another, to discuss their work, lives, and communities. There were many "A-ha!" moments - you know, the ones that reminds you that you are not alone. By day, the Fellows went through workshops, met in small groups, and honed their communication and presentation skills. In the evenings, over dinner, they bonded with one another, discussed work, and met some of Green For All's staff. Now, armed with training, new networks, and ongoing support, these dedicated and brilliant folks are back out in their communities, growing ever stronger as they serve their people and their country, and spread the message of an inclusive, clean energy economy. In our last moments together, I shared with the group that after hearing their stories, seeing their hard work, and having the vision of all of them in one room together ingrained in my memory, that I could not conceive of ever having a hopeless moment again. And indeed, while we know that there is much to do, we also know that in communities all over the nation, there are folks dedicated to seeing that it gets done.

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