June 20th 2013
June is Black Music Appreciation Month, and We’re Celebrating a Green Economy for All
Party Corps' mission is to connect good people to good causes through music. We believe that music is a connecting force that can bind people together and positively influence social change. This drives us to find and support the very best local nonprofit organizations, especially groups that share our philosophy and are addressing some of the world's most challenging issues. This month, we’re thrilled to be producing our Music for Good party for one such organization: Green for All.
This groundbreaking organization is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through an inclusive green economy that’s strong enough to lift people out of poverty. We decided to work with Green for All for our June Music for Good party to honor Black Music Appreciation Month and Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
Green for All has already tapped into the potential of music to elevate their work. With outreach videos featuring artists like Drake and Wiz Khalifa Green for All is using music to reach the generation that will be left dealing with the consequences of decisions we make today. "Artists create the soundtrack of our movement. In order to reach and inspire people we need to lift up the voices of talented artists that believe as we do that taking care of the environment and our communities is one in the same," noted Green for All.
With the number of environmentally focused organizations on the rise I asked Green for All what makes them different. Their focus on neighborhoods in cities across the country that have been historically plagued by poor air and water quality as well as a lack of economic opportunity is a key distinguishing factor of the organization. "Communities of color have been suffering the health effects of climate-altering pollution for far too long. Knowing what we know about the effects of climate change on our communities, we must fight it with all we’ve got. It's much more than an environmental issue; it's also a civil and human rights issue."
I learned about two of Green for All’s exciting current initiatives. First, they’re bringing their message onto the campuses of historically black colleges (HBCU's). The HBCUs College Ambassador program will organize participation in PowerShift, a student gathering that will launch hundreds of sustained campaigns and mass actions to demand climate justice. Second, they are growing their business engagement services that are designed to create, sustain and expand green jobs across the country. These Business Academies support green entrepreneurs and small business owners – particularly those coming from low-income areas and communities of color. They also match coaches and mentors to work with entrepreneurs to address challenges in core business competency areas, including financial operations, hiring policies, marketing, and customer service.
Like the fight for racial equality and the rights of women of the past, the environmental movement is one that will require a coalition of support from individuals and representatives of various communities coming together in agreement on the urgent need for a multi-thronged approach to addressing climate change. Dramatic weather patterns, floods, droughts, heat waves and deep freezes are all negatively affecting billions of people around the word and putting the future health of the planet into question. While the challenge may seem daunting, Green for All believes that there are several ways in which people can get involved and spread the word:
- Tell your story about environmental problems in your community. This can be as easy as a tweet or snapping a picture of a polluter in your neighborhood. Or it can be a blog post or an op-ed in the local paper that really lays out how a coal plant, truck traffic or dangerous weather is affecting you and your family.
- Take action to make change: Send your story to a local official, or work with your neighbors to start a community garden.
- Join Green for All’s Communities of Practice, a program that connects community leaders so they can share ideas, foster innovation, and get results.
- Watch a Business Engagement Webinar. These webinars feature leaders who are trying to make change, as well as experts and practitioners sharing insights on topics like crowdfunding and visual storytelling.
You can support Green for All today by purchasing a ticket to Party Corps' Music for Good party on June 26th at The New Parish. We’ve got an awesome line-up of Bay Area based musicians joining us in concert and in conversation to celebrate Green for All, as well as the roots of black music and the influence it has had on social justice movements throughout the history of this country.