Inspired and Inspiring: The Green For All Academy Fellows

Authors: Rosa Gonzalez, Academy Program Manager The Green For All Academy has been going strong for two years now. We've had three separate classes, and more than 90 Academy Fellows have gone through our program. This year, we decided it was time to get all the Academy Fellows together in one place to meet, share their thoughts and experiences, and talk about how to move forward together towards a green future. The first-ever Green For All Academy Convening, held July 12-14,was a tremendous success. The first words that come to mind are "amazing," "transformative," "incredible," and "life-changing." And I’ve heard others describe it that way, too. More than anything, everyone who came left feeling re-energized, re-focused, and re-engaged. As we all know, building a movement is not easy, and this has been a difficult year for a lot of us. The timing was right for us to come together and inspire each other for the next haul. But don't take my word for it. Check out some of these photos, quotes from the Fellows, and an excerpt from a poem that Alli Chagi-Starr, Green For All's Senior Community Engagement Strategist, wrote about the experience.

Quotes from Fellows

"Being able to share my experiences with other grassroots leaders throughout the country — and figuring out how we can support each other — has been one of the greatest gifts of my time as a Green For All Fellow. It was inspiring and moving to hear about other Fellows' incredible successes and the impact they are having on their communities." - Selim Sandoval "This convening has lifted my spirit and probably changed my life because it has given me direction." "I am going to go back home and talk to my community about trying to connect back to our environment." "I feel rejuvenated and more connected to more Fellows." "I started off feeling unsure of my purpose for attending this conference. Now I’m focused and feeling prepared for the task ahead." "Looking forward to continuing to build. I think this was very valuable in reactivating the potential of our movement at a critical time." "This reminded me of the potential or strength I have to carry out and bring my community to success." "I am inspired to be more politically involved and connected with my legislators, my community, and myself." "I gained strength, love and wisdom from the convening."

The Dream Is Us

by Alli Chagi-Starr We are motivated by... The call to end poverty, injustice, and the lack of resources for our people…because injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. We move forward because we love. In the future... Every child has a healthy lunch, every day. Every child knows her community loves her. Green builders and renewable energy creators make art, and artists know how to build houses and gardens. We can be the change. If not now, when? If not us, who? This is how we remember why we are here. Today our words are... Power, hope, compassion, love, fear, faith, selflessness, transformation, unity, healing, revival, resilient, emerging, garden, reflection, expansion. To serve fully... We shall manifest peace and prosperity. We shall act with kindness and integrity. This is the turning point to restore hope and manifest radical transformation and opportunity. We must be the ones to shine the way forward in deepest night. We are the root, as we climb up the world with lamplight. This is the moment. The dream is us — unfolding our wings.

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