The future of green is local — and entrepreneurial. In her talk, Majora Carter brings us the stories of three people who are saving their own communities while saving the planet. Call it “hometown security.”
Majora Carter is the activist for environmental justice who redefined the field of environmental equality, starting in the South Bronx at the turn of the century. Now she is leading the local economic development movement across the USA.
In her talk there were featured the following stories:
- “Brenda Palms-Farber was hired to help ex-convicts reenter society and keep them from going back into prison and in turn her solution was to create a business that produces skin care products from honey. She hired seemingly unemployable men and women to care for the bees, harvest the honey and make value-added products that they marketed themselves, and that were later sold at Whole Foods. She combined employment experience and training with life skills they needed, like anger-management and teamwork, and also how to talk to future employers about how their experiences actually demonstrated the lessons that they had learned and their eagerness to learn more. Less than four percent of the folks that went through her program actually go back to jail. So these young men and women learned job-readiness and life skills through bee keeping and became productive citizens in the process. ” This was the start of the Sweet Beginnings, LLC that makes the family of beelove™ products, an all natural line of raw honey and honey-infused body care products.
- “Andy Lipkis is working to help L.A. cut infrastructure costs associated with water management and urban heat island – linking trees, people and technology to create a more livable city. All that green stuff actually naturally absorbs storm water, also helps cool our cities.” He is the founder and the president of the environmental non-profit organisation TreePeople that is a leader in providing sustainable solutions to urban ecosystem problems through: environmental education, forestry programs, demonstration projects and policy outreach.
- “Judy Bonds is a coal miner’s daughter who saw the difference in potential wind energy on an intact mountain, and one that was reduced in elevation by over 2,000 feet. Three years of dirty energy with not many jobs, or centuries of clean energy with the potential for developing expertise and improvements in efficiency based on technical skills, and developing local knowledge about how to get the most out of that region’s wind.” J. Bonds was an organizer and activist against mountain top removals for mining.
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