A Note from the Chair

Article excerpt

Keeping Black in the Green evolution will require that the NAACP be ever vigilant. We must learn "GreenSpeak" and not get confused or be fooled by the fancy terminology that is a part of this new movement: Greenhouse gases; global warming; climate change; glacier melt; renewable energy; sustainable agriculture; green building, and many more new terms are used to describe various aspects of the Green evolution. But most of all, we must use our 100 plus years of NAACP smarts and advocacy to ensure that African Americans get our fair share of the Green jobs.

Yes, millions of jobs are expected to be created to mobilize the Green economy. There are hundreds of fancy new titles for many of these jobs; but most are related to the removal of toxic materials; the installation and operation of alternative energy sources, as well as the maintenance of the environment through tree planting and sensible agriculture. Many of these jobs will require minimal skills and little training, while some will require college and specialized technical and mechanical training.

A listing of Green jobs on the website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides a quick look at the variety of Green jobs available now, as well as the education requirements and skills needed for them.

African Americans have a very large stake in the Green evolution since our communities have been the most victimized by the many natural and manmade environmental disasters for decades. Race is the No.l predictor of toxic-waste disposal locations. Children in these African American communities that have been targeted for toxic dumping suffer greater incidences of asthma, lead paint poisoning and asbestos-caused illnesses. …