Thirty college students last weekend trained to represent eco-equity firm Green For All as campus ambassadors for the next school year.
Students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the country learned about environmental justice and climate change, and planned various eco-awareness campaigns for their respective universities.
Green For All flew these young men and women to Washington, D.C. For two days of intense workshops. There, the ambassadors traded ideas and strategies to convey the importance of recycling, reducing consumption, and fighting for clean air and water – especially within the black community.
Former journalist and activist Jeff Johnson urged the ambassadors to build support bases and learn the politics of advocacy, encouraging students to create a “symphony of activism” among their peers. Johnson, whose years mobilizing communities has made him a powerful voice among African Americans, discussed with students ways to ensure that they can make lasting impacts. “We need to create an activist chess board,” Johnson told the college ambassadors at the opening dinner.
He continued, saying that change requires a united front: “When the goal is ‘King Me!,’ it’s about me, when the goal is ‘Checkmate,’ it’s about the team…you all’s role in this game is paramount.”
His message and others over the weekend hit home to the students. Ambassadors are paired up on 15 HBCU campuses, including Florida A&M. They plan to be voices for the green movement in the country, hosting workshops and semester-long, sustainability campaigns.
Clark Atlanta University junior Janica Johnson enjoyed the training, but said she wanted more information about the problems facing the environment and the causes. “Overall, I felt we could have got a little more hands-on information,” Johnson told The FAMUAN.
She and her campus partner plan to work alongside Spelman and Morehouse colleges – two others in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium – to push green initiatives among their three campuses. “It’ll be more about creating awareness; our ultimate goal is creating awareness,” said Johnson, a Public Relations/Philosophy major.
Claflin University sophomore Miranda Garcia said the training was “definitely a positive experience,” because it got the students together sharing personal stories and insight. Garcia plans to host recycling campaigns and workshops on her campus. She says she wants to get to know her fellow students well enough to tailor programs to them. “We want the focus to be on them and give them what they want,” said Garcia, a Biology major.
Green For All Associate Markese Bryant expressed hope in this, the second class of Green For All ambassadors. Bryant, a speaker and aspiring musician, was among the workshop facilitators who helped train students about GFA. “I’m excited to see the origin of the HBCU revolution,” Bryant said. “I really believe we will be changing the face of the green movement.”
FAMU’s ambassadors, Korbin Miles and D. Robin, will be hosting workshops this semester, as well as hosting a campus-wide sustainability campaign in the Spring. For more information, contact Robin at 850-980-3353.