Oakland – Some of the most influential African American church leaders in the country are joining forces with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green For All to launch Green The Church, an effort to reach 1,000 black churches and address the disproportionate impacts of climate change and pollution on communities of color.
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At a telephone press conference on Thursday, March 12, pastors from across the country joined Green For All Founder Van Jones and U.S. Green Building Council Senior Vice President of Community Advancement Kimberly Lewis to talk about why climate change and sustainability are a priority for African American congregations.
Speakers include Reverend Otis Moss, senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, the Chicago church attended by President Obama; Reverend Amos Brown, who sits on the boards of both the NAACP and the National Council of Churches; Ambrose Carroll, who founded Green The Church; and Bishop J.W. Macklin, who is Second Assistant Presiding Bishop at the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country. Together, these leaders represent millions of black congregants and voters.
This is the first time nationally recognized African American church leaders have come together across denominations to talk about the threat that climate change poses to their communities.
The Green The Church initiative aims to bring the benefits of sustainability directly to black communities by partnering with the U.S. Green Building Council on clean energy and energy savings. It will also tap into the power of the African American church as a moral leader and a force for social change—one with the potential to bring millions of new people into the climate movement.
The initiative demonstrates what polls already show: that people of color are concerned about climate change and ready to act. It also comes at a time when polluters are increasingly trying to turn minority leaders against clean energy.
“When it comes to climate change and pollution, people of color are hit first and worst. Our communities also stand to gain enormously from investments in solutions like clean energy. The Black church is a formidable force. It could help determine whether we win or lose on climate,” -Reverend Ambrose Carroll, Green the Church Founder.