Flagstaff, AZ - Claudia Jackson, Diné (Navajo), Coordinator for Navajo Green Jobs, seeks to diversify the Navajo Nation's economy by working on community based green projects that are less dependent on energy extraction and other industries that contradict her traditional values. She is currently working on developing a feasibility study for a green business incubator, implementing a green curriculum in reservation schools, and building community outreach and education. Her education and personal values revolve around green energy, sustainable living, and natural resources.Read more
Kansas City, KS - Michael Hutchingson is a graduate of the Alpha Class at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kansas. He became interested in environmental issues when he began to notice the seasons and traditional weather patterns changing. When the economics of fuel began to govern the ability of our nation to operate, he knew alternatives must be developed. He networks continuously with businesses within this community to positively impact stabilization of the Northeast corridor. When he engages people he is sincere yet humble and passionate.
Nashville, TN - William Sizwe (Siz-Way) Herring is a dedicated environmentalist and director of EarthMatters Tennessee, a nonprofit earth education organization. A frequent classroom presenter and workshop leader, Sizwe is a certified instructor in the field of permaculture. Sizwe's organization maintains the George W. Carver Food Park, where over 30,000 lbs of organic compost is produced and distributed each year. The Food Park is the home of Nashville's only "land sculpture" made entirely of leaves and compost materials. Sizwe is also the urban coordinator for Kids To The Country, and since 1994 has led the summer program at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee. As part of his mission to bring balance and wholeness to earth communities, Sizwe has volunteered his time as a trained mediator since 1993. He uses his staff position at Tennessee State University's student center to both mediate and bring awareness of both earth and human ecology to college students. His influence was instrumental in the creation of the campus organization Gateway to Heritage, which conducts recycling, cleanup and planting projects on the grounds and immediate neighborhood of this HBCU university. He is a former board member of the American Community Gardening Association, Tennessee Solid Waste Control Board and has proud, active memberships in Manna-Food Security Partners, Green For All, the Tennessee Organic Growers Association, and the Green Collar Jobs Task Force of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
Greensboro, NC - Jada Drew is from Rich Square, NC and currently resides in Greensboro NC. She works independently as a consultant with her small business Social Designs. She facilitates diversity, leadership, service-learning, multicultural curriculum design, and team building trainings for K-12 schools, nonprofits, and institutions of higher learning. Jada has passion for equity and justice and her charismatic flavor are present in all of her interactive designs.
Currently, Jada works in the Multicultural Education Department of Guilford College as the Africana Community Coordinator. She advises Africana students, plans cultural events and programs. Jada also serves as a diversity, multiculturalism, and anti-racism facilitator for the department. She is also the founder and director of Africana CHANGE, which is implemented at the college as a class course, at James B. Dudley Senior High School for 85 ninth graders, and in the community. Nationally, Jada is also a co-leader and facilitator of the Youth Action Project (YAP) for the White Privilege Conference. YAP is an experience for middle & high school youth to engage in meaningful dialogue about white privilege, white supremacy, and methods of breaking down systems of oppression.
She is also a Green For All Fellow. As a representative of Green For All, she has begun the ‚Äú252 Revitalization Project.‚Äù This project‚Äôs goal is to utilize the young professionals from the area in motivating sustainable change in her home area. The mission of the 252 Revitalization Project is to use the concepts of Greening the Earth and saving money as a basis for better living in Northampton County. The 252 Team has provided school assemblies and led a ‚ÄúSo Fresh, So Green‚Äù Art & Science contest in the county.
Jada graduated from Guilford College with a BA in Psychology and minors in Education and African American Studies and was heavily involved in civic engagement and community service initiatives as a Bonner Scholar. She is currently pursuing a master‚Äôs degree in Global & International Education from Drexel University.Read more
Milwaukee, WI - Wesley Carter was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended school for business management and business plan development, intending to expand his father's dry-cleaning business. In studying business he became a fan of the green business model. He believes sustainable community development can give impoverished communities the jobs, food, energy, and environment to raise their quality of life. In 2009, he was given the opportunity to dialogue with community members about this emerging industry. From this he helped begin a weekly community brainstorming session, which became The Making Milwaukee Green Coalition, a coalition of tradesmen, community leaders, businessmen, and concerned Milwaukee residents. In 2010, he began training in the practice of organic gardening and began to research job and business opportunities in urban agriculture. He helped identify and encourage homeowners, businesses, churches, and community organizations to adopt organic sustainable gardening and composting practices. He also works with school children teaching them the benefits of recycling, composting, and locally grown produce. His goal is to create a model for a sustainable community food system that creates jobs in impoverished communities.
Boston, MA - Hakim was born and raised in the streets of Boston. The product of a Jamaican immigrant father and a Native American mother from Florida, he grew up in a predominantly Caribbean neighborhood in the Dorchester Center area of Boston. As a young man in the late 80′s, Hakim was introduced to gangs and became a hustler. His life of crime eventually led him to prison for four years. At the Bridgewater State Prison Complex, Hakim took computer classes and took part in the Cadre program serving as a hospital inmate worker learning trades in flooring installation and facilities maintenance. In this program, Hakim's life took a turn for the better when he met Imam Abudullah Faaruq Shadadah. Hakim decided to turn his life around and redirected his focus to educating himself while incarcerated. As Hakim approached his release date, he learned of the Boston Workers Alliance and the organization's serious work. After securing a job but then being fired because of his CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information), Hakim contacted the BWA and quickly became a member. Hakim was elected to the BWA Board in 2007 and was hired as BWA's second staff person in January of 2009.Read more
Gibsonville, NC - Karl Brustmeyer was born in Brooklyn, NY. He served on several boards as an advisor in economic development, advocacy, and organizational development. He has been instrumental in taking a holistic view in planning and developing sustainable programs that address needs within the community. He has also helped mentor many small businesses and organizations in best practices of leveraging internet technology, and creating innovative social programs to showcase and promote their business/organizational objectives. He has advocated to city council utilizing Green For All research reports to and achieved adding language to city policy that opened the doors for minorities to participate in the Green economy locally via large grant awards and training opportunities. Karl currently works with SERA, Inc. and Citizens for Economic and Environmental Justice as the Entrepreneurship Partner/Trainer. He works with many non-profits and organizations to address economic empowerment for low-income at-risk communities.
Dorchester, MA - Arevalo was born in Bogota, Colombia and immigrated to the United States in 1994. His passion for social and economic justice began in earnest when he was seriously injured while working as a shuttle bus driver for an international car rental company in 2004. Jonny organized a campaign to address his injury and actions the company was taking that were polluting and contaminating the environment. The campaign that Jonny and his co-workers launched received a great deal of attention from the media, local policy makers, and workers rights organizations. The campaign led to a regional boycott of the company. During the campaign, he was recruited to work for MassCOSH and transitioned from volunteer to a staff role in 2007. Currently, he is a Worker Center Organizer at MassCOSH, organizing workers to work for dignity, respect, fair treatment, just wages, and safe working conditions across Massachusetts. Jonny is a certified OSHA and EPA trainer, a member of Local 25, a member of the USWA Union, and he plays a leadership role in numerous local organizing initiatives. Prior to his role as a driver, Jonny spent nine years as a prep cook and pastry chef. He and his wife live in Boston. He is the proud father of two sons who are seven and eleven years old.
Indianapolis, IN - Imhotep Adisa is native of Indianapolis, Indiana. As an African-American, his interest in environmental and economic issues was born out of personal and community experiences. His interest in environmental issues was heightened after some of the young men in his program held a forum on the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Not long after, the group read Van Jones' The Green Collar Economy. Since that time most of their work has centered on creating community awareness about the environment, providing information to residents on green economic opportunities, and providing an alternative voice to the community about these issues as they relate to the African-American community. Over the years he has helped lead forums and trainings, operated a restore, acquired energy auditor certification, started a community garden, and run summer EcoCamps. Three years ago, his organization opened the KI EcoCenter – a community center that focuses on green initiatives and serves as a hub for community based activities. He believes we are living in a very unique time, full of danger and possibility and calls us to "embrace the paradigmatic moment."
Recipient of the Fellows Fund micro-grant award for:
Express Your Self Rain Barrels
Kheprw Institute – Indianapolis, IN
The Express Your Self Rain Barrels project was designed to tackle both high unemployment and water contamination through sewer overflow. The project will prepare emerging community entrepreneurs to develop rain barrel businesses. Beginning with a 2-month training program on both rain barrel production and social entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurs will be supported through the project as they launch sustainable businesses.
Antioch, NY - Yeama Mengistu, born in Nashville, TN, is a dedicated mother, wife, inspirational teacher, and community organizer. She developed a connection to and interest in organic farming from her early childhood experiences spending summers in Promiseland, TN, an African- American rural community founded by her ancestors who were ex-slaves. After graduating from Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in Social Studies Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Yeama worked to combine her innate connection to organic land development practices with community education. She has worked in communities in both rural and inner city settings implementing programs based on building “outdoor naturalistic classrooms” using the GRACE model—gardening, recycling, action, composting, and education. Yeama has worked as a program director in the “Black Belt” south with Black farming communities and currently is the Board Chairperson for EarthMatters, a community based environmental education organization in Nashville, TN. For twenty years, EarthMatters has instituted community gardens and she has helped to implement composting projects throughout the city. Currently, Yeama is a USAID-IFESH Educator for the Ministry of Education of Ethiopia Missions in Chiro at the Teacher Education College. There she designs and implements strategies to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in Ethiopia.