The Young Leaders in the Green Movement steering committee is proud to present the report Breaking the Green Ceiling: Investing in Young Workers of Color, Paid Environmental Internships, Career Pathways. This is the culmination of 2 years of work, beginning in 2013 with a community based research project that included input from 150 young adults, that proceeded to our own research of the available internship programs in Seattle, then interviews of community partners and other impacted young workers likes us.
We are excited to lift up the voices of young workers of color to reach our city government and other organizations and agencies interested in the investment of the next generation. As we know, our society will feel the effects of global warming for the next 40-50 years, and will impact communities of color disproportionately, from heat waves to flooding to rising costs of basic needs.
We are hopeful that the potential of the youth today will not be wasted, but rather recognized and supported in leading the way for climate preparedness and a new green economy. Leaders of the green movement must come from the communities hit first and worse, creating solutions as they have first-hand experience in what climate mitigation tactics will be most effective in their communities. In the words of Damu Smith- Former Leader of the National Black Environmental Justice Network,
“Those of us involved in the environmental justice movement have a different take on what it means to be an environmentalist. We view our struggle for environmental justice as being organically linked to all struggles for justice. Against poverty. Against homelessness. Against police brutality, racial violence and racial profiling. Against the prison industry. If we don’t have political justice, if we don’t have racial justice, if we don’t have economic justice, we cannot achieve environmental justice.”
The Young Leaders in the Green Movement