Authors: Shamar Bibbins
As a national organization building an inclusive green economy, we have the privilege of working with leaders from across the country who are passionately creating greener communities and stronger economies. We know first hand the powerful, transformative work that is taking place on the ground. It was extremely exciting today to join the White House as they honored nine individuals as Champions of Change for greening our cities and towns.
We are especially proud of Champions of Change honoree and Green For All Fellow Eric Mathis, who is the founder and director of The JOBS Project. His organization has been at the forefront of initiatives to bridge the gap between the fossil fuel and renewable energy industries through the development and implementation of innovative finance and business models. Green For All partner and ally Deborah Scott of Georgia STAND-UP was also an honoree. STAND-UP is a “Think and Act Tank for Working Families” in Atlanta, Georgia that houses TRADE-UP, a prep-apprenticeship program that provides a pathway bringing residents of low-wealth, disadvantaged populations into 21 skilled trades through the AFL-CIO multi-craft training program.
I was reminded today that our movement is connected and stronger than ever when honoree Cynthia S. Barber, Director of the City of Tallahassee’s Environmental Policy and Energy Resources Department, shared that when she made her transition from working in regulatory compliance to becoming Tallahassee’s chief sustainability officer, Green For All’s mission inspired her to think of creative ways to tap into her community. She went from being hesitant about her new role to helping Tallahassee become the first Gold Certified Green City in Florida.
We congratulate all of the Champions for Change honored today who are using innovative approaches to promote energy efficiency, revitalize outdoor spaces, encourage green transportation, and improve the quality of life in our cities and towns. This select nine represents a larger movement of leaders that are not waiting to take action, but instead being the change that we’ve been waiting for by building an inclusive green economy that works for all.
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.