More than 150 people particiapated in the first ALANA Green Summit on September 15 at Concordia University in St. Paul. Speakers, community leaders, educators, policy and labor leaders met to explore how ALANA communities (African, Latino, Asian and Native Americans) can help build and join a burgeoning green economy.
“It was such a powerful meeting,” said Karen Monahan, of the Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota and North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Monahan sat on a panel that discussed green jobs, and advocated green jobs for brown people.
Green jobs are crucial to the emerging economy, said Dr. Bruce Corrie, Dean of the College of Business and Organizational Leadership at Concordia University. Corrie said green jobs will outpace all other job sectors at a rate of four to one, and that green capital will account for more than $21 billion in global payroll by the year 2030. Green capital, by the year 2030 will account for over $21 billion in the global payroll.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Rachel Dykoski is active in various environmental organizations working on green jobs and environmental justice issues.
Professor Bruce Corrie, one of the organizers of the event, described the day:
“Experts in Green Industries, like solar, wind and energy efficiency, green building and manufacturing as well as green investing led sessions with audio/visual lectures, informing people about the green economy. We’ve talked about how we must protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity. Experts showed logical connections to our aims. If we educate ourselves and work together in developing green products and services, we can together, find renewable energy, alternatives out there that will benefit us all on the whole.”
“I appreciated the voices and information,” said Nate Russell, Jr. who attended the event. “I looked around the room, and saw a few people of color. We need more people in the ALANA community present and participating.”
All of the presentations were jam-packed with information. One attendee, Ronald Bell, MSW said, “Each speaker was given five minutes. I was impressed with the number of speakers involved. But the sheer number of topics and talkers, most of whom took ten minutes instead of the five allotted, was a little too much to digest.”
“After listening to over three hours of presentations from leaders in the green economy, the four ALANA Green Strategy groups (entrepreneurs, green collar workers, educational programs and community education) set out to identify steps how these communities may help build the economy in the four areas.” Corrie stated.
A new website , aims to share the wealth of information within the community about clean, green initiatives, develop strategies to build the green economy, network and link organizations and industries all committed to environmentally conscience and the lucrative options available to the ALANA community and others as well.
Rachel Dykoski is a socio-eco-political activist, mom, wife and free-range writer in Minneapolis. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org