Will the millions of green and clean energy jobs being promised reach the black community? And the answer to that question is, “Yes – they have and they will.”
One of my African American colleagues told me about how, every year as winter was coming, his grandmother would get up on a chair and put up plastic sheeting over the windows.
She didn’t say she was “greening her home.”
She didn’t say she was “weatherizing the house.”
She didn’t call herself an “environmentalist.”
From her perspective, she was just keeping out the cold and saving money on the oil bill. But the issues that we label “environmentalism” were an important part of her life. This disconnect is a significant challenge. But it’s also one of our greatest opportunities.
Today, the inauguration of the first African American president, and my confirmation as the first African American Administrator of this Agency, has begun the process of changing the face of environmentalism in our country.