inyeannreport

Inye Wokoma met Michael Woo in 2009, when he produced the Got Green hip hop music video. The rest is history.

“Got Green provides the intersection of environmental justice, racial justice, and economic justice. You got to tackle all those things if you’re going to make substantial progress. Folks need to be pushing from the bottom up.”

 Got Green: How did you get involved with Got Green?

Inye Wokoma: The first time I was involved was in 2009, when my friend and radio host, Keith Tucker, suggested that Got Green do a video promoting the weatherization and solarization training. Keith knew I had the video production experience and brought me into the mix. That’s how I met Michael Woo. Then, we produced the Got Green music video. From there, it was about a year or so when Michael asked me to join the founding board.

GG: What motivates you?

IW: I’m really interested in having more people of color involved in the environmental movement. I think the experiences of poor people, people of color, and folks in the immigrant community can provide some important framing on what environmentalism could and should be about. If the solutions reflect only the privileged and don’t encompass everybody, there isn’t going to be progress made in environmentalism. Got Green provides the intersection of environmental justice, racial justice, and economic justice. You got to tackle all those things if you’re going to make substantial progress. Folks need to be pushing from the bottom up.

GG: What issues impacts you and your family?

IW: Both my wife and I are independent business owners and operate on tight personal budgets. The healthy foods issue impacts us. Although we might not be classified as working class, we fall in the gray area where we don’t always have the luxury of buying organic food. We need to have consistent access to healthy food because our youngest daughter is 7 years old and we try to keep her off as much processed food. She has a wheat allergy that expresses itself as eczema or asthma, so we definitely try to manage her diet. It’s difficult to afford fresh organic healthy food all the time. We have two children in their early 20’s and entering the professional working world, so issues that impact young workers is definitely of concern for us. Not just for our children but also for their peers and other families we know.

GG: Why Got Green? From a broader standpoint, the way Got Green engages our community is really effective and impactful. For folks like us who are environmentally conscious in a society where it ranges widely, it’s really good to have an organization that prioritizes the environment and racial justice. There’s room for us to be who we are and to live according to our values in a community that supports us. This is the second board I’ve been on. I really wanted to work with an organization where I knew I was going to be filling a gap and adding capacity in substantial way. Now I can step back and see where my contributions have made a difference.

GG: What new experiences have you had?

IW: For me, just having a real insider experience of grassroots organizing has been great. I’ve been involved in activist groups and community organizations throughout my life, but Got Green was founded by two really smart and veteran organizers, Michael Woo and Kristyn Joy. They walked into this, bringing in really effective organizing, supporting people to pick up new skills, and then making it successful. It’s been very exciting and a very new experience for me. I like to come in the Got Green office and just be around it all.

Check out our 2013 Annual Report, “Powerful Teamwork of Got Green.”

Read other interviews of our grassroots leaders: Claira Le and Tanika Thompson

 

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