Congratulations to the Graduating Class of the Green For All Academy

Authors: Mahfam Malek This past year, I have had the honor of working closely with Class III of the Green For All Academy. Our Fellows have put much energy, love, and countless hours of their time into growing & making real a green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty. They have spoken on panels at conferences, produced hip-hop tracks about sustainability and justice, and produced eco-friendly events. They've participated in days of service, put on workshops, volunteered on college campuses, and put pressure on their elected officials for strong climate legislation. Whether seasoned green jobs activists or newbies to the movement, they have creatively and relentlessly organized in their communities for a just, green economy. Fellow Mar'Che James came into the "green jobs" movement by meeting and talking to friends familiar with Green For All. Inspired, she applied for the Academy, and joined the third class. Armed with the knowledge she gained through the training and the continued support throughout her fellowship, she has done everything from share information with church members on weatherizing their homes through a city program to participate in community service and clean up days to present on green jobs to students at Morehouse College. She recently got a job with Morehouse Community Initiatives, helping communities go green, while creating opportunity for entrepreneurship and jobs. We are excited to see Ms. Mar'Che shine as a new leader in the green economy! Fellow Ben Gilbarg took a bit of a different route. Having worked with youth for many years through 3rd EyE Unlimited, Ben brought his experience with young people and hip hop to the movement for a green economy. Having worked in partnership with Fellow Tem Blessed from the first class of the Academy & YouthBuild New Bedford, and being an educator already talking about sustainability issues, he was a natural fit. Over the past year, he's used the skills, networks, and resources gained from the Academy to continue educating folks in high schools, community colleges, and treatment facilities, and also in putting on eco-conscious events for young people through the lens of music, culture, and hip-hop. Fellow Wyking Garrett has big aspirations for the city of Seattle. Since his training with the Academy, he ran for Mayor of the city of Seattle, with a platform based on his community activist roots - calling for real solutions to youth violence through social justice, and real opportunity like training for and access to good green jobs. Though he didn't make it through the primaries, he didn't slow down. He joined the transition team for Mayor Mike McGinn as a community ambassador and continued advocating for opportunity in the green economy for vulnerable communities. He also continues his community work through venues such as the UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center. Congratulations are in order for the third class of the Green For All Academy! These examples can't come close to covering all the diverse work that Fellows have put into this movement. We at Green For All are so grateful for & proud of the real differences they have made in their communities while making their presence known in the national movement. We have exciting things planned for our Fellows from all three classes of the Academy - continued training, broader networking opportunities, and more resources and support from Green For All. We look forward to further investing in our Fellows, as we know the return on our investment will mean getting leaps and bounds closer to an economy and a country that work for both our people and our planet - an economy and a country that are truly green for ALL.

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