Green For All and Howard University Announce “Green is the New Black” a Symposium for Young African-American Adults and the Green Economy

Green businesses, non-profits and performers to highlight African-American history and opportunities for jobs, advocacy and entrepreneurship in green economy at Feb. 23 event at Howard University

WASHINGTON, DC – Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy, Howard University, and Black Enterprise Magazine today announced a symposium for young adults, “Green is the New Black” on February 23rd at Howard University.  The Black History Month event will honor the contributions that people of African descent have made – and continue to make in the fight for a more sustainable planet and equitable society. Dozens of green businesses and non-profits will share opportunities for young people within the green economy, from jobs and internships, to opportunities for advocacy, service and entrepreneurship as part of a Green Opportunities Fair.  Performances, and speeches by R&B singer KJ Rose, vegan chef and author Bryant Terry, the American Association of Blacks in Energy’s Arnetta McRae and music by the songwriter and producer Jack Knight will follow the jobs fair.  Organic food from a local African-American caterer will be provided for the students as part of the event and all the materials will be compostable. “African-Americans are seeing unemployment rates exponentially higher then the rest of the country,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All.  “We need to get our young people inspired and involved in the possibilities of the fastest growing sector of our economy – the green economy.  The Green is the New Black symposium at Howard University will do just that.” There are currently 85,000 Americans working in the wind industry and more than 100,00 are working in solar.  Nearly 50 percent of solar companies recently surveyed said they are expecting to add jobs in 2012.  But, nearly one-in-five African-American men are currently unemployed.  In today’s climate of economic uncertainty and environmental crisis, this symposium offers a message of hope and opportunity for young African-Americans. "Creating a more sustainable environment involves developing and implementing good stewardship practices with respect to the use of all the Earth's resources,” said Alfonzye Chisholm Jr., Director of Sustainability for Howard University.  “Partnering with Green for All helps insure that Howard University stays focused on developing a sustainable pool of young talent to help lead the way." For more information on “Green is the New Black” symposium or to attend the event RSVP text GreenBlack to 25827. More info on “Green is the New Black”:                   WHAT                    “Green is The New Black” Symposium                   WHO                       Green For All Howard University Black Enterprise Refresa K.J Rose, Bryan Terry, Arnetta McRae and Jack Knight WHERE                 Howard University’s Blackburn Center Ballroom 2400 Sixth Street, NW Washington, DC WHEN                    February 23, 2012 3-5 PM Green Opportunities Fair 5-7 Networking Dinner and Performances

Green For All Releases Four-Part “Plan To Keep America First”

Emphasizing forward-looking investment that will put Americans to work now, plan outlines how President Obama can position America in difficult political climate

OAKLAND, CA – As the nation prepares for President Obama’s State of the Union address, Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy today released a four-part plan highlighting a vision that would allow the United States to maintain its economic lead over the long term, while putting Americans back to work now. A mix of political and economic recommendations presented by Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, the plan makes the case that the status quo will not ensure our nation’s future economic success. In a “Plan to Keep America First,” Green For All presents four steps for building the economy the United States needs now and for the future:
  1. Recognize long-term growth opportunities. Specifically, the on-going growth of renewable energy, green jobs, and pollution controls.
  2. Make direct entrepreneurial investments in green technology. Leverage the government’s resources to support the clean energy economy and ensure a robust return on its investment.
  3. Make direct investments in infrastructure – with an eye toward the future. Build infrastructure now that considers long-term sustainability and energy use trends.
  4. Use full power of the executive branch. It’s vital that the private sector work with President Obama to figure out creative ways to make progress.
“There’s no finish line in international economics,” writes Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All. “First place is always contested and being the leader in any given sector bears real benefit to the population: more jobs, more GDP. We still enjoy the benefits of having been the country that developed the technology and information systems underlying the Internet. Now, we need to commit to plan that will keep America first.”

Statement from Green For All on the President’s State of the Union Address

OAKLAND, CA – Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“The President’s commitment to bolstering the middle class and his emphasis on increasing American manufacturing is desperately needed. Our country can put Americans back to work now by investing in clean energy and the infrastructure that will power our economy for generations. "Big Oil and their supporters are committed to propping up an industry from another era and derailing policies that are in the best interest of American workers and our economy. This is why Americans must speak up. Earlier today, Green For All released a “Plan To Keep America First,” encouraging people to contact their elected officials in support of forward-looking investments in clean energy and green infrastructure. "Our recent report, Water Works, demonstrates that we can build our country’s water infrastructure, while putting nearly 1.9 million people to work. That’s just one area of possible investment. Every American has a vested interest in our country’s success. The President tonight articulated a path forward. We must do our part and demand policies that will put our country back on track.”

Statement on Keystone XL Pipeline Rejection

Jan 18, 2012
OAKLAND, CA – Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins today issued the following statement on the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline extension by the U.S. State Department. “We applaud President Obama and his administration for standing up for the American public and rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline extension. This project would have helped Big Oil and their allies get richer at the expense of American workers and permanently damaged our environment. "Our country needs a real jobs plan –Keystone is not it. Helping a foreign company ship oil overseas to make billions of dollars, while polluting our communities is not a jobs plan. We need our leaders to support America’s fastest growing industry – the clean energy sector. "We can create millions of good, clean jobs for American workers that make our country more competitive without polluting our communities. We need to invest our resources in improving our infrastructure, making our homes and businesses more energy efficient and promoting clean energy solutions. We need our leaders to stand up to Big Oil. We need a real jobs plan that puts American workers and its fastest growing industry first not a jobs plan financed by Big Oil."

Green For All Launches The Dream Reborn: Who’s Next? Contest

Contact: Brian Purchia,, 202.253.4330

Contestants can win a music video and cash prizes by submitting a song that honors Dr. King’s dream by calling for economic justice and green solutions

OAKLAND, CA – On the day we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy is pleased to announce a contest celebrating his vision and spirit. “Martin Luther King Day isn’t simply a time to reflect on Dr. King’s call for racial harmony and equality for all people,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All. “Dr. King held a fervent energy for justice, and a constant push for a better world. It’s a spirit we see every day in our partners in the green economy – and we think this energetic, fun contest captures that spirit.” The Dream Reborn: Who’s Next? contest encourages artists to write and record original music reflecting how Dr. King’s commitment to social justice and equality inspires them as we work toward a more inclusive green economy. The contest begins today, with submissions accepted Visitors to the site will be able to vote for the song they think best reflects Dr. King’s spirit and the energy of the green economy. The song that receives the most votes over the course of the month-long contest will receive a $1,000 cash prize – and a music video produced by Green For All! The second and third place vote getters will receive $500 and $250 prizes respectively. Green For All held a similar contest in 2010 called The Dream Reborn. The Climate Change Crew, a group of middle school students in Minnesota, created the winning performance in that contest. Their winning video is viewable at the contest website: For More info on The Dream Reborn: Who’s Next? contest please visit:  Watch “Change is Needed” by The Climate Change Crew: About Green For All Green For All is a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through a clean energy economy. The organization works in collaboration with the business, government, labor, and grassroots communities to create and implement programs that increase quality jobs and opportunities in green industry – all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of its agenda. For more information, please visit

Spelman College Students Honor Dr. King’s Legacy Through Service

In partnership with Green For All, the Environmental Protection Agency, Keep Atlanta Beautiful, and Trees On Atlanta, students plant trees, clean highway

ATLANTA, GA – Earlier today, Spelman College students fanned out across Atlanta to pay respect to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by honoring one of his best-known sayings: Anyone can be great – because anyone can serve. Spelman students took part in two service projects in the city to honor Dr. King’s legacy. Students and representatives from Green For All, Keep Atlanta Beautiful, and Trees On Atlanta planted trees in the English Avenue community. As part of another project, dozens of others joined Spelman College’s Adopt-A-Highway project in cleaning a stretch of the I-20 east highway. In addition to honoring Dr. King, the day’s events also made Atlanta cleaner, greener and more beautiful – a simple demonstration of the role we can all play in protecting our environment and improving our communities. Spelman students Kandyce Perry and Jainaba Fye, members of Green For All’s college ambassador program, participated in the day of service in keeping with their efforts to raise awareness of environmental issues on campus and in the surrounding community. “The world we live in is the world we create ourselves,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All. “Dr. King called on us to lead by example, to serve our communities to make a more perfect, more just world. Today these students and our partners did exactly that.” EPA Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson celebrated the students and community partners for their commitment to service. "There is no better way to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than service to our communities and our fellow Americans. I’m proud to see so many young people stepping up to protect their health and their environment through service projects,” said Administrator Jackson. “Small changes can have a huge impact on our environment. The leadership shown by Spelman students and the people of Atlanta dedicating themselves to working for a cleaner environment should serve as an inspiration far beyond their own communities.” Photos of the event and interviews with participants will be made available on request. Fore more info on Green For All’s College Ambassador program, visit:/gfa/wp/what-we-do/college-ambassador-program About Green For All Green For All is a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through a clean energy economy. The organization works in collaboration with the business, government, labor, and grassroots communities to create and implement programs that increase quality jobs and opportunities in green industry – all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of its agenda. For more information, please visit

Statement on EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics standard

Dec 21, 2011

EPA's new rules limiting mercury and particulate emissions from coal-fired power plants are long overdue. The rules as proposed would significantly curtail pollution that is making Americans sick. But the benefits are much broader. The Economic Policy Institute puts the number of net jobs likely created from this ruling at between 28,000 and 158,000 from retrofitting old plants. This is the promise of the green economy. 
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Former Gavin Newsom Spokesman Joins Green For All as Communications Director

Brian Purchia Joins Non-Profit’s Executive Team

Oakland, CA – Today Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy, announced that former Gavin Newsom spokesman, Brian Purchia, is joining the organization as its Communications Director. Purchia, a California-based media strategist, most recently led communications for, an online platform for social change. He also recently ran new media for Proposition C, San Francisco’s collaborative effort with the labor and business community to reform the City’s pension system. In addition to his duties as Communications Director, Purchia will also join Green For All’s Executive Board. “The movement for a clean energy economy needs the best if we are going to defeat Big Oil,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All. “Brian has an impressive track record of shaping policies that improve our environment and make our government smarter by bringing more people into the process.” From 2007-2010, Purchia was San Francisco Mayor Newsom’s Deputy Communications Director and chief advisor for new media. The San Francisco Chronicle described Purchia as Newsom’s “go-to guy for new, and especially social media” for his implementation of a groundbreaking new media strategy called “gutsy” and “brilliant” on NPR. Purchia’s work, described by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark as “genuinely innovative,” led to Newsom’s ranking as the “Number One Mayor” for his use of social media by the leading search engine for tracking consumer-generated opinions, Samepoint. Newsom’s extensive new media operation was used to build the mayor’s reputation as an environmental leader. In 2010, Newsom was selected the greenest mayor for the second year in a row by TreeHugger. Purchia worked with Green For All’s Founder Van Jones to help launch the organization in 2007-2008. Brian was also the driving force behind the nation’s first open data law, open source software policy, and API for government. Prior to entering politics and government, Purchia worked in media, developing one of the first mobile TV networks for the U.S. market while working for WeatherNews in Japan. From 2002-2005 he was a nightly news reporter for Voice of America in Washington, DC, covering international stories for a worldwide audience. He also worked in local news for KTXL Fox40 in Sacramento.

Investments in Water Infrastructure Create Jobs and a Healthy Environment

At celebration of Edmonston, MD’s innovative “Green Street,” Congresswoman Edwards calls for similar projects nationally to make America healthier and put people to work

EDMONSTON, MD – At an event today in Edmonston, Maryland, Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-4) called for broad investment in our nation’s neglected water infrastructure. Joined by EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner and environmental organizations, Green For All and American Rivers, Rep. Edwards noted the organizations’ recent report, Water Works, which highlights how upgrading our crumbling water infrastructure could put nearly 1.9 million people back to work and add a quarter of a trillion dollars to the economy. The nation's water infrastructure is in dire need of repair - an estimated $600 billion over the next 20 years is needed to protect our water supply, public health and the environment. “Investments to improve the nation’s water infrastructure will create jobs, reduce energy consumption, and promote long-term economic development and environmental stewardship. These common sense conclusions are affirmed in Water Works, a report highlighting that investments could create 36,000 – 56,000 jobs in the state of Maryland,” said Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-4). “We cannot afford to pass on this opportunity. That is why I introduced the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2011 to ensure that projects effectively manage stormwater flow and improve water quality, bringing us closer to a clean-energy economy and improving our outdated water infrastructure.” The occasion for the event was the one-year anniversary of Edmonston’s innovative “Green Street.” The model serves as an inspiration to other cities, and one that attendees at today’s event agreed that the program should be scaled nationwide. In 2010, the town of 1,500 along the Anacostia River decided to make a strategic investment in upgrading its main street, adding green infrastructural upgrades and energy efficient lighting. "Our nation's water infrastructure is in desperate need of improvement. Communities across the country identified the need for $300 billion in wastewater and $335 billion in drinking water infrastructure improvements for capital expenditures alone over the next 20 years,” said Nancy Stoner, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water. “Today, we have a path forward where innovation in water management will enable us to meet America’s water needs, protect public health, create jobs and strengthen our economy." The “Green Street” project has paid off, reducing the amount of pollution entering the Anacostia River, saving the city on its energy costs – and putting seventy people to work in its construction. “From just outside our nation’s capitol in the town of Edmonston to Chicago to San Francisco we are seeing how investments in water infrastructure are putting thousands of Americans back to work in the clean-energy economy,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All. “But, we are only scratching the surface, as our Water Worksstudy highlights investments in water infrastructure should be scaled in cities and towns across the country.” “The Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act,” which, if passed, would establish up to five Centers of Excellence charged with conducting research on green infrastructure and provide communities with training and technical assistance on how to implement green infrastructure practices.  The legislation would also provide funding to help communities develop green infrastructure technologies. The Green For All “Water Works” report can be downloaded here: Information about the green street is here:

Statement on Keystone XL pipeline delay

From Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Nov 10, 2011
We applaud the Administration’s decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline extension in order to determine a less environmentally risky route. Today is a victory – for the young people and indigenous people and activists who ringed the White House, who were arrested, who made clear their opposition. It’s a victory for the people of Nebraska, who spoke clearly and loudly that the risk was unacceptable. It’s a victory for those who support good, clean jobs, and who understood that - as the Washington Post noted –the pipeline’s construction meant only a very few dirty jobs would result. A delay is the right decision. We applaud the leadership of President Obama. And we encourage the State Department to take as much time as it needs to impartially review the evidence at hand - evidence which clearly shows that the most environmentally responsible route is the one in which the pipeline isn’t built at all.

Report: upgrading water systems can reduce pollution – and put nearly 1.9 million people to work

New report from Green For All shows the broad economic and environmental benefits of upgrading our water systems

MILWAUKEE – Want to create nearly 1.9 million American jobs and add $265 billion to the economy? Upgrade our water and wastewater infrastructure. That's the message of a new reportreleased today by Green For All, in partnership with American Rivers, the Economic Policy Institute and the Pacific Institute. The Rockefeller Foundation generously provided funding for the project. Every year, sewage overflows dump 860 billion gallons of untreated sewage into our water systems – enough to cover the entire state of Pennsylvania with waste one-inch deep. But investment in our nation's infrastructure to handle stormwater and wastewater has lagged, falling by one-third since its 1975 peak. The report, Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment, looks at an investment of $188.4 billion in water infrastructure – the amount the EPA indicates would be required to manage stormwater and preserve water quality. That investment would inject a quarter of a trillion dollars into the economy, create nearly 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs in related sectors and result in 568,000 additional jobs from increased spending. Further, the report notes that this is the best moment to make the investment. With the recession creating a shortfall of 11.1 million jobs that would be needed to keep pace with the population and 9.1% unemployment, these are jobs that are critically needed. Moreover, the cost of financing these essential upgrades is at historic lows, and the still-struggling economy means much cheaper construction costs. Investing in green infrastructure approaches that more closely mimic natural systems is part of the solution – and further provides the additional benefits of reducing pollution of creeks and other waterways, saving energy, and increasing green space in urban areas. "Cleaning our environment and putting people to work has always been the value proposition of the green economy," said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All. "This report demonstrates that there's a massive opportunity to ensure clean water, improve the economy, and put people – particularly low-income workers – back to work." "Our nation's water and wastewater systems are deteriorating, with impacts on human and environmental health," said Eli Moore, co-director of the Pacific Institute Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program. "Investing in these systems can promote the long-term sustainability of our precious water resources." "America's failing infrastructure has a direct impact on clean water, river health, and communities," said Gary Belan of American Rivers. "By investing in smarter, more cost-effective water infrastructure that works with nature, not against it, we can improve the health of rivers and communities, and put people back to work in the process." "The time for investment is now. Every day we wait adds additional cost to the economy and harm to the health and well-being of American families," said John Irons, Research and Policy Director of Economic Policy Institute. The full report is available at Report authors are available to answer questions or provide additional information; to contact an author, please call Mary Creasman at (510) 663-6500, x336.

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