A year ago today, more than 1,100 people gathered to build a better future together, at The Dream Reborn conference in Memphis, Tennessee. It was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the start of a nation-wide movement for an inclusive green economy.
Since The Dream Reborn, the green jobs movement has become a vibrant and powerful force in American politics.
President Obama's economic recovery plan is green, and includes $500 million dollars for green jobs training. This funding is designed not only to train workers, but also to create green pathways out of poverty for those struggling the most.
Our force has been felt outside of Washington, D.C as well. State legislatures and local governments across the country have passed landmark green jobs legislation.
Our successes cannot only be measured by laws passed and policies changed. Over the last year, the community of 1,100 that gathered in Memphis has grown to 75,000. Dozens of local organizers have been trained through the Green For All Academy, scores of local green jobs implementers have convened through our "Community of Practice" working groups, and tens of thousands of Americans have stood up for Green Jobs Now.
Where we've come in just one year is inspiring. We have created the space for the green-collar jobs movement to be bolder and louder. This means defining what the green economy will look like, making sure it works for all of us.
It's our vision and it's what Dr. King lived and died for forty-one years ago - equality and opportunity for all people.
This weekend, as you remember Dr. King and honor his legacy, you should feel proud. We are one year closer to building a country and a green economy that Dr. King could also be proud of.
Green for all,
Chief Executive Officer, Green For All
It's official: live in Memphis from April 4-6, Green For All is bringing together the practitioners, activists, and communities at the center of the emerging green-collar economy. Community activists and neighborhood leaders from South St. Pete will be there. We will be bringing you updates here on the blog and at the Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday April 10th.
On Friday morning, Willeen Kelly and Chris Kelly are heading to Memphis for the 'Dream Reborn' conference, a three day commemoration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's premature passing, and a recasting of his dream for the 21st Century. The conference is organized to work for justice, opportunity and peace in urban America.
What's special about this weekend, is that the organizers have tied the push for Green Collar jobs to a vision of social justice. Their goal is to "build a green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty. By organizing now, the movement will insure that the billions of dollars spent on green jobs in the next fifty years include low-income people. By training people now and organizing to insure capital moves to urban green job training, we'll insure that our neighborhoods will be able to take part in these new opportunities. There's no reason we can't fight poverty and pollution at the same time...
Chris writes "We'll be back Sunday night late, but I'll try to drop an email or two from the conference and look forward to sharing the experience and information Willeen and I gather."
This is the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. This historic event will celebrate his extraordinary life and present positive solutions from today's generation of visionary leaders. A bullet killed the dreamer, but not the dream. Together, we will create ecological solutions to heal the earth while bringing jobs, justice, wealth and health to all our communities.
Green For All is bringing organizations and leaders from communities across the nation together to produce The Dream Reborn. This racially just, green gathering will celebrate the life of Dr. King and present positive solutions for social and environmental equity from today's generation of visionary leaders.
Watch these videos to learn more:
Dream Reborn Attendees Share Their Dreams
Solar Richmond Success Story - The Dream Lives in Richmond!
Van Jones Opening Remarks at Green For All Conference
The Green Economy Is Coming
For more information on Dr. King's work toward a just economy go here and here.
Dr. Martin Luther King's last speech, "I've Been to the Mountain Top"
Photo: Van Jones is a civil rights lawyer and activist in Oakland and organizer of Green for All.
Update: Marchers honor King on anniversary of death
first published 3/30/08