Environment and Equity: The Interface between Sustainability and Social Justice

Van Jones, environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney, and co-founder of three non-profit organizations: Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green for All

Common Hour event series
Sponsored by The Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment, Center for Liberal Arts and Society, Mellon Grant for Environmental Values, Bonchek College House, and Weis College House

Thursday, April 19, 2012
11:30 a.m.
Common Hour website

Our country is in the depths of an ecological crisis and an economic recession. A clean-energy economy will move America past some of its most pressing challenges. By making us energy independent, it will improve our national and economic security. By radically reducing the pollution that causes climate change, it will improve the health of our families and neighborhoods. And by creating millions of quality jobs and careers, it will pull America out of the current recession, strengthen our middle class, and better protect us from future economic turmoil. More than that, building a clean-energy economy is a chance to reinvigorate and reinvest in the best part of the American dream: the idea that everyone gets a chance to succeed. By ensuring that every community has equal access to the new opportunities of the green economy, we can lift millions of people out of poverty.

In this moment, the progressive movement requires fresh approaches and a willingness to innovate. Van Jones has emerged as a leading champion of smart solutions for America's middle class. As an advisor to the Obama White House, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green recovery spending. A Yale Law School graduate, he has a 20-year track record as a successful, innovative and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of three successful nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. He is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund. He holds a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Jones is on the board of several organizations and non-profits, including Demos, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and the Campaign for America's Future. TIME magazine called him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009. He is also the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green Collar Economy. He's comfortable leading the charge both on the ground and on the airwaves, and his vast connections can unite organizations and high profile individuals in ways that would otherwise be difficult.

This event is open to the public.

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