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Van Jones: "Growing Greener, Growing Together"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
College's Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room
UC Santa Cruz

CJTC Eighth Annual Spring Speaker with Van Jones, "Growing Greener, Growing Together: Sustainability, Social Justice, and the Future of the Progressive Movement"
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at the College's Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room

Van Jones is the founder and National Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a national organization in Oakland, CA, that has focused on positive alternatives to incarceration and violence in urban America. Jones and the Center helped launch an initiative in 2000 called Books Not Bars which today supports the largest advocacy network of parents of incarcerated children in the United States and includes the parents or grandparents of more than 25 percent of all of California's youth prisoners.

How do you go from addressing incarceration to tackling global warming? Jones has always been an expert at building bridges between issues and people. He is one of the few people to have been both arrested in the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization, and then invited three years later to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the premier gathering of global economic leaders, to receive as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" award. And he has been a passionate advocate for the environment - serving as a board member of the Rainforest Action Network and Bioneers - but consistently focused on how this can blend with issues of social equity.

Jones is now writing a book called Green-Collar Jobs: How To Beat Global Warming, Cut Poverty & Unite America in which he places the poor and the disadvantaged at the center of a new, solution-based environmentalism. Jones also serves on Oakland Mayor-elect Ron Dellums' Green Economic Initiatives Task Force, helping to champion the idea of aggressively attracting eco-friendly employment and businesses to inner-city Oakland. His argument: the coming battle to save the planet could actually result in a sort of eco-apartheid unless we are able to make sure that low-income areas and communities of color are early participants in the creation of new "green-color" jobs and industries.

Van Jones is a powerful and inspirational speaker, and follows a distinguished series of orators from our past spring series. We think he will be of special interest to our students - partly because of his role as a progressive activist and intellectual, partly because of his blending of environmental, spiritual, and social justice concerns, and partly because he truly represents a new generation of leadership, one that has learned not just to protest but to prescribe, not just to critique but to build bridges between unlikely allies.

View a clip of Van Jones on the CJTC website.


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