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Van Jones Stressed the Importance of “Green Jobs” to the Class of 2014

By Tiffany Brown
University News
August 24, 2010

Van Jones During the first week of their collegiate career, the freshmen class peeked into their future through green lenses. Van Jones, who previously served as President Barack Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, implored students to explore and champion sustainable industries.

“You have made a very wise decision to be in Washington D.C. at Howard University at this time in history,” Jones said. “You are in the position to learn the new science to make things cleaner.”

Jones addressed any skepticism about the effects global warming has had on the environment by referencing the abnormal weather conditions that the country and the world has experienced recently.

“One-third of Pakistan is under water today, and it will get worse next year,” said Jones commenting on the recent flooding that occurred, leaving millions of people homeless.

He stressed the need for active involvement of African-Americans in this climate changing industry. Jones expressed to the students that the opportunities green industries offers affect the whole world including Black communities.

“If you want to see the future stop looking down those [oil] holes and start looking up at the sun,” Jones said. “We have the Saudi Arabia of wind energy right here in America.”

Jones is an environmental advocate, civil rights activist and attorney from Yale Law School. He is a co-founder of three non-profit organizations, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green for All. Currently, Jones serves as a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress and holds a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy.


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