Green For Everybody in Nashville

Authors: Sizwe Herring, Green For All Fellow, Class 5

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We have had a green boon for our unified movement building in Middle Tennessee. Green For All Fellow candidates Yeama Sow, Michael Hutchingson and myself have had the pleasure of hosting and enjoying the presence of three Green For All community leaders.

The author is pictured at center with community members

The whirlwind began when Green For All founder Van Jones visited Vanderbilt University for a down-to-earth discussion of the current situation in DC. He told us the ever-important personal stories. We learned about his Mom talking about God's green earth, actually yelling "What in God's green earth have you done now??!!" He gave us some powerful manna to thrive on as we maneuver through the new green economy. (View the full speech.)

Green For All Fellow Zoe Hollomon from the Massachusetts Avenue Project in Buffalo, NY led an Urban Agriculture workshop with us at Community Food Advocates at Tennessee State University. Zoe shared her techniques for mobilizing, motivating, educating and building a successful network of engaged community members. “Community has to see the relationship between food security, the local food movement and environmental impact of what we eat…and how we can improve that relationship,” explains Zoe. People loved her! She is so real and a great communicator. Of course, I knew this from her presentation at the Green For All Academy in Oakland this summer. This is why relationship-building throughout all levels of community is so important.

Sister Rosa Gonzalez, Green For All’s Education and Outreach Director, graced us as lead guest presenter at the Tennessee Sustainable Economy Summit at David Lipscomb University. She brought her expertise in discussions around equity, community benefits and partnership developments to over 100 people. "Tennessee has all the pieces in place to build the movement for a thriving green economy in the region, from a city-wide energy efficiency program to culturally-relevant grassroots organizing for a more localized and healthy food system," says Rosa about her experience in Nashville.

Many of you may recall the travails and prevails of the George W. Carver Food Park, featured on the Green The Block blog in September. The destruction of our compost and community garden project only threw us off our "A" game for a few. We are thankfully rebounding and emerging with projects in 5 Nashville neighborhoods! We are shoring up our "community enterprise" foundation with the help of my Green For All mentor Shamar Bibbins in Washington, DC. We are excited to have a new family of supporters and cheerleaders for EarthMatters here in Tennessee. Let's keep each other in high regard, both prayerful and confident in each other, as we manifest new green consciousness and lovingness in foundation building of each of our new and growing green lives, families and economies.

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