Category Archives: The Work Being Done

Young Leaders Press conference, “Breaking the Green Ceiling”

This morning Got Green held a press conference in front of the King County Juvenile, notorious for destroying the lives of young people of color, fighting for rights and opportunities for our community’s youth. The press conference was focused in particular on green internships and gaps in access to sustainable living alternatives for our urban youth.

Speaking and Performing at the press conference this morning were:

Carlynn Newhouse, Youth Speaks Poet

Rashad Johnson, Poet / Performer

Mo!, Got Green, Program Organizer for the Young Leaders in the Green Economy project

Lylianna Allala, Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC)

Lisa Chen, Executive Director of Food Empowerment Education Sustainability (FEEST)

Mike O’Brien Seattle City Council Member

Green jobs and internships are vitally important to our society because the world we want to live in will not simply materialize, rather, we must live our lives in such a way as to bring it about and, green jobs and internships are one part of that process. Furthermore, because green internships are socially responsible and engaging, providing them for our urban youth will not only provide sustainable and rewarding alternatives to less desirable activities and outcomes, it will also instruct our youth about how to construct and consume responsibly, and how to utilize and maintain community relationships to build the future we desire while providing the resources and services our city and its people need today.

The Youth are engaged, knowledgeable and making moves to ensure their own futures. And at least some of our elected officials are actively engaged in making resources available for our youth to participate in green internships and thus, benefiting the broader community.

GotGreen? Released a Press Release this morning prior to the press conference:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 5, 2015

Contact: Murphy Stack, 206.466.7712, murphy@gotgreen.org

New Report finds a “Green” Glass Ceiling for Seattle’s Young Workers of Color

Community Leaders Calling for Green Paid Internships

SEATTLE–Today, Got Green’s “Young Leaders” released a new report that identifies access challenges for young workers of

color who want to pursue “green” career pathways and calls on elected officials and public agencies to invest in paid

internships that can provide an entry into these fields.

The report, “Breaking the Green Ceiling: Investing in Young Workers of Color, Paid Environmental Internships, Career

Pathways,“ is part of Got Green’s Green Pathways Campaign, which advocates for creating more career pathways to

leadership positions for young people of color that will benefit our communities and the environment. The term “green ceiling”

refers to the 16% cap of people of color employed in green fields including, foundations, non-profits, government agencies.

Community partners – Environmental Professionals of Color, Youth Speaks, The Washington Bus, and Food Empowerment

Education Sustainability Team (FEEST) joined Got Green’s Young Leaders to make the announcement outside the King

County Detention Center.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately about income gaps in our region, we need to move from conversations to action,” said Mo!

Avery, Got Green’s Young Leaders Organizer. “The Young Leaders chose the Youth Jail for the press conference to illustrate

where funds that could be used to invest in our youth are actually going. Rather than funding organizations that could train the

youth and give them valuable career skills to help uplift our communities, money is instead being poured into an institution that

often acts as a massive barrier to careers and upward mobility for young people of color.”

According to report findings, in many green industries, unpaid internships have become a replacement for entry-level, paid

jobs. Unpaid internships create significant barriers for many young people of color who often cannot afford to work without

compensation. Instead, young workers of color find minimum wage jobs with no career trajectory and limited employment

skills, making it even more difficult to pursue meaningful work for our communities and environment.

Got Green applauds the Mayor’s recently announced Youth Employment Initiative that will create 2000 new jobs. This is a

move in the right direction that Got Green is working to build off of. Got Green’s recommendations from the report include;

expand the definition and number of “green” paid work experience opportunities which we define as good for the environment

and our communities at the same time; do targeted outreach to young adults of color to increase racial diversity in the

environmental jobs field; develop systems to help young adults move into career pathways.

“Seattle is a leader in climate action, but falls short on equity measures, we risk leaving behind the young adults who can help

us maintain that leadership role tomorrow. The investment in a brighter future and a healthier planet begins with investing in

the empowerment of the youth of color,” said Laurie Torres, Got Green Young Leader.

###”

~GotGreen?

Women of Color Speak Out: Changing the Climate of Climate Change

This group of strong, dedicated, passionate, intelligent and driven women who have been engaged in the climate justice movement have come together to share their experiences as Women and as Activists.

The audience loved them!

Answering difficult questions and sharing their personal stories of growing up fused with depictions of dealing with stereotypes, racism, sexism and self-doubt, they connected with people in a way that is often hard to achieve. Many people thanked them over and over for having the courage to speak out about the things that they too have also felt, but not had the space or felt safe enough to express their truth.

They were also able to pull together many of the organizations active in the climate justice movement into a unified initiative to expose the truth of so many of our movements for justice, that is, they are being led by women; and that women of color from front-line communities need and should be at the forefront of the movement.

It was a beautiful event and I hear that there is much more to come.

Divest UW Rally: “No Coal Is The Goal”

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Today Divest UW, a student organization that is concerned with the University of Washington’s investment in fossil fuel, hosted a rally in Red Square before attending the Board of Regents meeting to address their concerns directly.

This has been on going process for more than two years now and while there have been some concessions, the students feel as though they are not being heard or respected. In fact, as they say, they were told that they would be on the agenda for the Board of Regents meeting today, but this was not the case. So, they held a rally and got many other students hyped about our planet and the mis-management of our resources. Then with fifty or sixty fellow students and community members, they occupied the meeting and presented two beautifully crafted speeches.

The first speech addressed the moral and ethical concerns of the usage of fossil fuels to both the United States and to other countries, focusing on the social injustices that result. The second speech drew acute attention to how the Board of Regents has disregarded the Divest UW campaign and what the expectations are for the future. The demand, stated in the form of a request was that by January the board is to discuss and call to vote in February of 2015, to divest from the university’s stocks in coal. Hence the name of the rally “NO COAL IS THE GOAL”.

Today, Divest UW had the support of the Socialist Alternative, Rising Tide, and even former Mayor Mike McGinn who all spoke at the rally. It is inspiring to see so many dedicated and peaceful people coming together to fight for a cause that is worthy and to stand in solidarity. Climate Change is an issue that bridges all classes and cultures and it does not discriminate. However, those that deny climate change, and in fact, many other social and environmental justices issues attempt to drive a wedge between people with cleverly crafted rhetoric. Yet, the people are beginning to see through it not only because the rhetoric is failing, but also because the people are beginning to experience the consequences of our actions in their own diverse lives. This is why people from such varied backgrounds are standing in solidarity on the issue of climate change and why it was so inspiring to see this happen today.

You should have seen the look on the Board of Regents faces as the members of Divest UW were presenting their speeches. Half of it seemed as though they were shocked that students at the University of Washington who also care about the environment and came in with the support of so many students and community members, could write and speak so eloquently. It looked as though the message may have reached at least a few of them and if so, hopefully enough of them to tip the scales in favor of Divest UW.

One thing is for certain, and I am sure the the Board of Regents and the University of Washington now understand, Divest UW is not going anywhere and will continue to fight for a university divested of fossil fuel that they can be proud of.