The Skywriter

The Dream Reborn: green for all


The Dream Reborn: green for all

This weekend, I watched a new movement developing right in front of my eyes.  As I scanned the faces around me in the plenary room at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, it was impossible to not feel a sense of excitement.  We were emerging as a powerful new force for progressive change, one committed to the principle of "Green for All."

Over 1,000 people, myself included, gathered in Memphis for the Dream Reborn conference this weekend to stand upon the shoulders of giants and create a vision for a just and sustainable future.  We gathered in the city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, on the 40th anniversary of his assassination, to pick up the torch of his legacy of economic justice and carry it in a new direction for a new generation.  As we face the social crisis of poverty and the environmental crisis of global warming, are there solutions in sight?  The Dream Reborn sought to explore this question — and the answer was an unequivocal "YES!"

Visionaries like Van Jones, Majora Carter, Winona LaDuke, and others gave impassioned speeches about the potential for "green-collar" jobs that affirm the dignity of both people and the planet, that provide both pathways out of poverty and solutions to global warming.  Workshop sessions explored topics from food justice to campus strategies for green jobs to eco-entrepreneurship to the implications of fossil fuel dependence.  Community organizers, union officials, environmental justice activists, youth and students, and artists and poets all came together to share strategies and knowledge to take back to their communities.  We sang songs from the civil rights movement: "This Little Light of Mine," "Amazing Grace," "I Woke Up This Morning."  We laughed together, danced together, and even cried together.  And through it all, we affirmed each other and our power.

The Dream Reborn represents a new beginning.  Now the weekend is over and we are all dispersed across the country again, but the knowledge we gained and the friendships we forged will last us a lifetime.  This weekend, I got a glimpse into the possibility of a new multiracial green economy, where young and old people alike come together to transform how we relate to the planet and to one another.  Now the real work to make that possibility a reality begins — and after being in a room with over 1,000 people committed to that vision, I have no doubt that we will get there.


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