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Van Jones: 
Now President Obama’s Green Jobs Expert

Interview Larry King: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/04/21/lkl.green.czar.cnn

Earth Day Blog: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/21/A-Busy-Earth-Day-Van-Jones-Video-All-Day-Live-Blog/

The day, March 5, began with an early breakfast meeting for members of the Minnesota legislature.

Mr. Jones offered specific policy guidelines and actions as well as a broad perspective of what is possible in the creation of a green job, sustainable economy for all.  Fortunately, the Minnesota Youth Action Environment and other youth groups focused on the environment had an early morning meeting in the Capitol Rotunda and Van Jones was able to greet and support their efforts.



Van Jones

“What gives me hope? Look around. It’s the people on either side of me that give me hope,” says author and activist Van Jones, who will be speaking at the Ted Mann Theater March 5, 2009.

Van Jones—an electric speaker, a national leader and advocate for green jobs, and author—came to Minneapolis on behalf of the Whole Systems Healing course series offered by the Center for Spirituality & Healing in partnership with the Life Science Foundation.

Van Jones, co-founder of Oakland, California's Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, will be a guest speaker for the new Whole Systems Healing course series offered by the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing in partnership with the Life Science Foundation.

Van Jones, author of the new book The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, is an electrifying speaker who proposes solutions to global climate change and the struggling economy that bring together the social justice and environmental movements. Jones stated in a New York Times interview “You can’t take a building you want to weatherize, put it on a ship to China and then have them do it and send it back, so we are going to have to put people to work in this country — weatherizing millions of buildings, putting up solar panels, constructing wind farms. Those green-collar jobs can provide a pathway out of poverty for someone who has not gone to college.” www.nytimes.com/2007/10/17/opinion/17friedman.html

Working with his colleagues and California Congress woman Barbara Lee, Jones was able to get the City of Oakland to adopt the Ella Baker Center's Green Jobs Corps. The Green Jobs Corps provides funds to train youth for eco-friendly "green-collar jobs." He was also instrumental in getting the Green Jobs Act of 2007 passed by Congress. This Act authorizes $125 million to train workers for green collar jobs. Jones is also advising the Obama administration as it drafts its plans for what we all hope will be a visionary and transformational economic recovery package leading to a truly green collar economy.

Van Jones's work exemplifies the goals of the Whole System Healing curriculum. Designed by Linda Brady, John Miller,  Eric Utne, and other faculty and staff, the WSH is a series of three courses intended to help students identify their unique gifts and learning tasks, find their service callings, cultivate their capacities for collaboration and new venture creation, and become agents of social and environmental healing. In Fall 2008 and Spring 2009, the first course was offered at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Courses 2-4 will follow in the next two years. Once in place, the WSH curriculum will be expanded to the graduate level and offered to other colleges and universities worldwide. Students are encouraged to participate in intergenerational Community Earth Councils to put the WSH curriculum to work addressing social and environmental challenges at the neighborhood level. For more info, click: www.lifesciencefoundation.org/prcec.html.

With the political and social landscape of the United States changing in response to the new administration's goals, we have a window of opportunity. We are all called to examine our own lives and to work  together to create a world that is both socially just and environmentally sustainable. Join us! Celebrate the creativity and imagination of Van Jones, whose words and actions harken a better world for all.



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