Green The Church Summit - Inspiration and Action!
Green The Church held our first major gathering during the Fall of 2014.
The first ever Green The church Summit was held on November 11th & 12th at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, CA. The Summit gathered some of the nations most prominent clergy leaders like Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Rev. Dr. Tyson. Lord Gray, a religious scholar and environmental activist.
The Summit kicked off with a praise and worship service that attuned people’s hearts and minds with vibrant song and urged their spirits to commit to becoming a part of Green The Church. Rev. Richardson culminated the evening by reemphasizing that amidst many things, churches primary roles are to make a difference in their communities, helping out wherever they are needed and by whatever means necessary.
This call to action then carried us into the morning of Wednesday, November 12th, where we held a Clergy Leaders Breakfast with expert panelists who shared resources and support to help church leaders take action in a real way. The morning session featured solar companies, energy efficiency experts, food justice activists and more.
Today, a coalition of groups fired back at a National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) report misrepresenting the impacts of the Clean Power Plan.Read more
The dirty-energy economy has brought pollution and poverty to too many. But a clean-energy economy can bring opportunity, health, and wealth to struggling communities. Clean-energy jobs such as weatherizing homes, installing solar panels, and manufacturing wind turbines will put people to work in their own communities.
A new green economy will provide opportunity to people who have been left out of the old economy. That is the promise of Green For All.
Watch the video. Take Action. Share A New Sound with your friends and family.
A new green economy will provide opportunity to people who have been left out of the old economy. That is the promise of Green For All.
Hip-Hop superstars, including: Wyclef Jean, Common, Drake, Will.i.am, Anthony Mackie, Wiz Khalifa and Dead Prez share a special message about going green.
Kansas City, like many American towns is burdened by pollution from coal-fired power plants, unemployment, and poverty. Faced with bitterly cold winters and scorching summers, the city's residents struggle to keep up with steep energy bills.
Coal plants are poisoning our kids. We can stop them.
As a parent, you can't breathe for your child. It makes you feel helpless.
Pollution from coal plants causes asthma, heart disease, birth defects and early death. And people of color are hit hardest. One in six AfricanRead more
By Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Van Jones
As we celebrate Earth Day, it's a good time to remember that pollution and climate change aren't just environmental issues. They're justice issues.
Worldwide, people of color shoulder a heavier burden from toxic water, contaminated air, and dwindling natural resources. The same is true in America.
For example, African Americans living in Los Angeles are twice as likely to die in a heat wave than other city residents. As a result of climate change, urban heat waves are on the rise and the risk is growing. In cities across the country, poverty and inequality have created a perfect storm that traps black families in neighborhoods with few trees, little shade, and lack of access to air conditioning or cars that allow them to escape when severe weather hits.
It's not just the record heat. When disasters strike, no matter where, people with the fewest resources have a harder time preparing, escaping, and recovering. Just look at what happened with Hurricane Katrina or how the BP oil spill dramatically impacted Gulf Coast's Vietnamese-American community. When Superstorm Sandy hit, it wreaked havoc on New York's poor neighborhoods, including causing pervasive respiratory illness among low-income residents whose homes were struck by mold.
The pollution that's driving climate change also disproportionately affects communities of color. In fact, 78 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a toxic-spewing coal plant, which helps explain why one out of six black kids suffers from asthma -- compared with a national average of one in ten.
According to Hector Sanchez, chair of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change, more than 80 percent of Latinos live in counties that violate at least one federal air-pollution law and Latino children are two and half times more likely to develop asthma than non-Latinos.
Given that communities of color pay the heaviest toll, it's not surprising that they consistently demonstrate the highest level of support for protecting clean air and fighting climate change. A 2014 Green For All poll showed that 68 percent of minority voters favor immediate action to address climate change. Last month, a Benenson Strategy Group poll showed that a whopping 85 percent of African Americans support global commitments on climate--the largest percentage of any demographic group. Climate change will likely be a major issue for our nation's 17.8 million black voters in the 2016 presidential election.
People of color need to play a larger role in the decision-making on climate and clean air. A recent report by the group Green 2.0 shows that "Despite increasing racial diversity in the United States, the racial composition in environmental organizations and agencies has not broken the 12% to 16% "green ceiling" that has been in place for decades."
We need equal protection from the worst environmental problems. We also need equal access to the best opportunities in the clean energy economy--including jobs in solar, wind, and energy efficiency. These kinds of jobs are growing--and they tend to pay more while requiring less formal education, which is a recipe for escaping poverty.
There are millions of black voters who are ready to act on climate; they just need access to the right opportunity. And once they're in the ring, big polluters won't stand a chance. Polluters know this--that's why they have begun a misinformation campaign claiming that clean energy hurts African American families.
The path forward is clear--and people of color are already leading the way.
In fact, they are largely responsible for one of the country's most cutting-edge--and wildly successful--efforts to slash pollution and poverty: California's cap and trade bill, which makes polluters pay for their climate garbage, and then directs the funds to hard-hit neighborhoods. A coalition of black, Latino, and Asian community groups rallied to advance the legislation in 2012, and it raised $262 million for disadvantaged communities in its first year alone. By 2020, the law will keep a projected 78 million metric tons of carbon pollution out of the air--the equivalent of taking one out of every fifteen cars in America off the road. And it never would have happened without the genius of the state's communities of color.
Climate solutions and pollution safeguards are about so much more than protecting the environment. They're about creating work, health and wealth. They're about righting the ship in neighborhoods that have suffered from decades of racism, divestment, oppression and poverty.
That's why groups like Green For All and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) are working to connect more of our folks to the climate policy and clean energy decisions that affect our future. Because the more engaged we are, the better America's solutions to climate change will be.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee represents the East Bay and serves on the Budget and Appropriations Committees. Van Jones served as President Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and is the founder of Green For All.
By Rev. Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll, Co-founder of Green The Church and works with Green For All
As a child growing up in California, my parents would joke that we were from Hollywood. Our family was from Holly, Louisiana -- and Holly was down in the woods.
Thirty miles from Shreveport, Holly was where a cadre of ex-slaves purchased 100 acres of land in 1878 and planted their fields. They also planted the St. Mark Baptist Church, which is still serving black families more than a century later. These farmers -- my ancestors -- heeded the call of men like Booker T. Washington, who urged them to stay in the South, work hard, pay their taxes, and vote. Years later, despite their hard work and belief in the American dream, most of the families lost their farms to ruthless racists and the stock-market crash of 1929. The brutality of these two powerful forces pushed the family from land ownership to a new status of sharecroppers.
But deep connection to land and spirit were always a part of our family story -- just like it is a part of the story of almost every black family in America. It's this legacy of good stewardship of the planet that drove me to help start Green The Church. In partnership with Green For All, the Green The Church initiative taps into the power of the Black church as a force for social change, while bringing the benefits of the green economy directly to congregants.
Today, Green The Church has taken on a new urgency.
We're watching climate change unfold before our eyes -- bringing severe droughts, erratic weather, superstorms and disasters. And while climate change threatens people everywhere, communities of color are on the front lines.
Consider this: African Americans living in Los Angeles are nearly twice as likely to die in a heat wave, thanks to lack of access to air conditioning, shade and cars. And when disasters strike, it's people with the fewest resources who have a harder time preparing, escaping and recovering. Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy drove that point home.
Black communities aren't just hit first and worst by climate change; we also stand to gain enormously from solutions to global warming.
The Green The Church initiative aims to bring the benefits of sustainability directly to our communities. We've joined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council to help our buildings save energy and generate clean power.
Green The Church partners like Reverend Otis Moss of Trinity United in Chicago are already leading on this issue. Reverend Moss' church is powered by the sun -- and even produces enough solar energy to power the home of an elderly neighbor. Meanwhile, the congregation is helping keep pollution from dirty-coal plants out of the air and doing its part to combat climate change.
It's not just about helping churches save energy (and money). Green The Church taps into the unmatched 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. Polls show that African Americans consistently demonstrate the highest level of commitment to climate solutions. We need to harness that commitment -- and engaging the church is one of the best ways we can do it.
That's why Green For All is working to bring 1,000 black churches into Green The Church this year. Black churches -- and the millions of voters they represent -- could make the difference in whether we win or lose on climate.
Black churches are going green. It's exciting, but it shouldn't be surprising. Caring for the land and our neighbors is part of a legacy and responsibility that African-American families have upheld for decades -- in Holly, Louisiana, and in towns just like it all over America.
For more information about Green The Church--and to find out how to sign your church up, visit here.
Rev. Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll is co-founder of Green The Church and works with Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy. Reverend Carroll currently serves as Senior Pastor at the Church by The Side of The Road in Berkeley, California.
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.
Watch the Video ~A Green For All Initiative ~ ‘Every now and again an idea comes along that is too powerful to ignore…’
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.
African American church leaders have partnered with the nonprofit Green For All and the US Green Building Council to combat climate change. The “Green the Church” campaign seeks to include 1,000 churches, representing congregants that total in the millions.
“The black church has always joined hands with other faith traditions and stood on the front lines as they did in Selma, Alabama, fifty years ago this week. Likewise this must be true in the fight against climate change,” said Green the Church founder Ambrose Carroll.
The clip above outlines the direct ways in which climate change affects the Black community, from the health issues that arise from environmental degradation to the food issues that develop on a broader scale.
Not only that, but the churches are looking to save money by using sustainable energy and support the green economy. Moreover, they’re hoping that this way of thinking will trickle down to parishioners, who would certainly welcome the chance to lower energy bills and other climate-related expenses.
Even before this press release landed in our inbox, the Green the Church Summit took place, bringing together church leaders to talk about this issue in Oakland, CA.
Black churches are a key way to reach African-American audiences with messages of all kind. They also serve critical roles in organizing African Americans behind a cause, event or other manner of campaign. Tapping into this trusted resource is a brilliant way to communicate with the Black community.
Moreover, a quick search of “climate change” will find that lots of groups — religious denominations, various industries, even FEMA — are now urging concern over climate change because of the unique ways that it will impact people based on where they live, where they work, or what they do in day-to-day life. This is one strategy that environmental activists are using to target important demographics to spread their message of urgency.