Bridging the Gap examined the importance of connecting black communities to the green economy, said Jacqueline Patterson, Director of Environmental and Climate Justice at the NAACP. Our next step is to implement the recommendations generated at the event on reframing the green economy according to justice and equity based tenets and advancing a framework for action that is inclusive and sustainable.
This day-long event not only provided ideas for how the African American community could evolve in the green economy, but presented information on how to prosper in the green economy.
The conference provided a forum for social activists working on issues whether it be policy, research, small business development, grassroots organizing or youth mobilization to develop collective action strategies that will change the game and experience of African Americans in the green economy, said Lillian Singh Bowie, Director of the Economics Program of the NAACP. If only one of the several strategies discussed is implemented and executed, we have made an impact.
The one day NAACP pre-conference brought out dynamic speakers including Ed Whitfield of the Southern Grassroots Economies Project, who discussed the importance of the development of green jobs in the African American community.
"It was good to see the NAACP taking the lead in bringing up the issue of green job development in the black community. I was glad to have a chance to share information about the importance of cooperative development and the necessity to democratize wealth as a means of dealing with both the environment and the economy. There was a really good group of people present who had a lot of good questions and good answers. I hope this becomes a regular part of the Blue Green Conference and I hope that the NAACP continues to spread these ideas through its base."
The Environmental and Climate Justice Program of the NAACP, the Economics Program of the NAACP along with the speakers and attendees have all agreed that there must be actions, in addition to conversations, to help bring the African American community into the green economy sphere.