Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Stand with Van Jones. 3 Ways You Can Too.

I'm deeply saddened by the resignation of Van Jones from his position as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council for Environmental Quality.

When I went to see him speak for the first time at the Green Festival in November 2002 about, "Green Jobs, Not Packed Jails," it was the first time in a long time that I felt like the world could be changed for the better. I felt like I could make a difference; like we all could. That day was a key stepping stone on my journey to figure out how I could have fun and do good.

I could point to a lot of blog posts and articles about why Van resigned, and whose fault it is, but as Jakada Imani, the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (that Van co-founded) wrote in an email to EBC supporters today, "Following Van's lead, we're staying focused on solutions . . ."

So, for inspiration I encourage you to listen to an interview I did with Van in April 2007 for the Big Vision Podcast online, or on iTunes. You can also read a transcript of the interview on Have Fun Do Good. It was one of the shows I got the most emails about--people said that they listened to it more than once, that it moved them, that it made them cry. I especially like the part (at around 17 min 58 sec) when he talks about the country needing a, "reverence movement":

"That ability to stand in awe and reverence for what a precious gift it is just to be alive, and just to share this planet with so many other beautiful sister and brother species and nations and neighborhoods. Just that quality of reverence, that is really the gateway through which we can begin to rediscover our capacity to do good."

You can also show your support for Van in three ways:

1. Buy (or borrow), read, and pass on his book, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Greatest Problems.
2. Sign a Stand with the Green Jobs Movement petition on Green for All.
3. Join the I Stand with Van Jones Facebook Page.

I encourage you to share your stories about how Van Jones has inspired you in the comments. I'll pull one of the stories out of a hat in a week (September 15th), and send the winner a free copy of The Green Collar Economy. (Be sure to include a way I can contact you in the comments if you win).

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  1. jtberks6:07 PM

    I enjoy your blog, but I really cannot support Mr Jones, nor his beliefs. It was his decision to resign, which we should support. From my perspective it was his words (captured on video and on paper) that got him in trouble, so I do not believe there is any one to blame. I am sure Mr. Jones will be influential, possibly more influential now that he is out of "public service". BTW, I have never supported "CZARS", they seem to be unchecked, unregulated sources of power.

  2. Anonymous11:56 PM

    I too saw Van Jones speak, and I too was inspired, however where I believe he was wrong for the position was that his entire platform was not "green jobs" as a solution to better environmental problems, but a solution for reversing economic disparity.

    It is a perfect case in many ways of how we need to better define the true goals of various movements, separate them, and then build.

    Van is someone that I support for his platform of reversing the injusticies that minorities have endured, as well as bring an end the economic cycles, but that cannot the core of what should be a national movement.

    Where I see this as a positive thing for Van, is that he still has his base, and he now has a network of people to plug into his base that he did not before. ... and as these programs beginning picking up, he will be able to leverage his time in DC circles to bring a greater level of impact on the local level.


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