23 September 2009

mario van peebles is not yet an avocado...

black on the outside and green on the inside! He shared this culinary identity flaw with Michel Martin today on her NPR show as he talked about his new reality tv show, Mario's Green House, which airs on TV One, this Sunday, 27 September, at 6pm (ET).

In 8 episodes, Mario, his spouse, Chitra Sukhu, and their five children green their home. His mother, Maria Marx, and his father, Melvin Van Peebles, also make regular appearances.

Check back next week for my review of the 1st show.

18 September 2009

van jones speaks

Dear Friends:

My family and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past week or so. I resigned from the White House on Sept. 6, and I have remained silent since then—in keeping with my promise not to be a distraction during a key moment in the Obama Presidency.

Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do.

The main thing is this: please do everything you can to support both President Obama and the green jobs movement. Winning real change is ultimately the best response to these kinds of smear campaigns.

I ask everyone to:

1. Support President Obama’s efforts to fix our nation’s health care, energy and education systems. His victory last fall did not represent the “finish line” in the fight to renew America; his election was just the “starting line.” This autumn, it is time to make history again—with victories on health care and clean energy.2. Sign up to support groups that are working for green jobs.

As others seek to vilify or marginalize the movement for a clean energy economy, the leading groups deserve increased support. This is the year to ensure that the clean energy transformation creates good job opportunities for everyone in America.

3. Spread the green jobs gospel. The ideas and ideals of the green jobs movement are grounded in fundamental American values—innovation, entrepreneurship, and equal opportunity. My true thoughts can be found in my book: The Green Collar Economy. Check it out from the library—or order a copy and share it with a friend. See for yourself why clean energy and green jobs are good for our country.

4. Stay connected and speak up for me via your favorite blogs (e.g., Huffington Post, Grist, Jack & Jill, etc.), on message boards and all of your favorite social networking platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Supporters have set up a couple of them, to help you stay engaged, including: I Stand With Van Jones and I Love Van Jones.

In due course, I will be offering my perspective on what has happened—including correcting the record about false charges. In the meantime, I must get my family affairs in order and sort through numerous offers and options.

I want to be clear that I have nothing but love and admiration for President Obama and the entire administration. White House staffers are there to serve and support the President, not the other way around. At this critical moment in history, I could not in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. The White House needs all its hands on deck, fighting for the future.

Of course, some supporters actually think I will be more effective on the “outside.” Maybe so. But those ideas always remind me of that old canard about Winston Churchill. After he lost a hard-fought election, a friend told him: “Winston, this really is just a blessing in disguise.” Churchill quipped: “Damned good disguise.” I can certainly relate to that sentiment right now. :)

Nonetheless, we must keep moving forward. Let’s continue our work to make an America as good as its promise. These are historic times. And we have a lot more history to make.


Van Jones

17 September 2009

uptown girls photos

Majora Carter's Uptown Girls fundraiser was held last night. Here are two photos from the event.

Majors Carter giving the opening address of the Uptown Girl! ... on Twitpic
Majora Carter

Kerry Washington & Joy Bryant at the Uptown Girl! Awards, it'... on Twitpic
Joy Bryant & Kerry Washington

16 September 2009

van jones out, leed-certification in

The White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Federal Management Program will collaborate to make the White House greener by seeking LEED-certification. This move was announced just 9 days after Van Jones' resignation. Although the desire for LEED-certification first made news in July 2009, it was renewed publicly yesterday in an apparent attempt to shift focus away from Van Jones.

11 September 2009

black & green animals

i love wikipedia! searching for all things black & green, i was led to the green-and-black streamertrail

and the green and black poison dart frog.

i couldn't resist sharing. it is also a heads up that chocolate & arugula will also explore (non-human) animals.

photos by dominic sherony and dirk van der made, respectively.
There's still time to Green the Block for Obama's National Day of Service, his answer to 9/11 remembrance. Green the Block, a collaboration between Green for All (the organization Van Jones founded) and the Hip Hip Caucus, actively engages low income individuals and people of color in the clean-energy economy. It's a national answer to Majora Carter's call to Green the Ghetto. (More on that phrase later.)

Go to the Green the Block website and check out what's happening in your neighborhood. Then type back and tell me what you decided to green.

06 September 2009

van jones resigns

Van Jones, special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, resigned yesterday (Saturday 5 September) in response to primarily white Republican politicians and pundits critical of his past political actions and affiliations.

Jones started his appointed position on 16 March 2009. His task was to "advance the President’s agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources [and]...to shape and advance the Administration’s energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities," according to the White House blog.

In an interview with Doug Pibel of Yes!, Jones was asked about the invitation to join the Obama administration. "Not only did I say I had no intention of going, when they asked the question, I burst out laughing because at the time it seemed completely ludicrous that it would even be an option. I think what changed my mind was interacting with the administration during the transition process and during the whole process of getting the recovery package pulled together. I began to see that there was an important role at the table, inside the process, to...make sure all the great things the president wants to do can get done well."

Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy (2008) and founder of Green for All (September 2007), an organization focusing on the green economy as the solution to the eradication of poverty, became committed to environmental activism in 2005. He quickly became an environmental leader and, seemingly, the perfect person for the new special advisor position.

Now, after barely 6 months, Jones is out of a green job.

What will he do now? And what will happen to the special advisor position?

04 September 2009

south bronx uptown girls: joy bryant, majora carter & kerry washington

Majora Carter will be joined by fellow Bronx natives, Joy Bryant and Kerry Washington, for a mural arts project fundraiser in the Bronx on 16 September. Bryant, Carter and Washington will "honor fellow Uptown Girls with art, community and LOVE" and work together to eliminate environmentally borne diseases, etc., that are too prevalent for girls and young women in the Bronx.

All three have (at least some) green cred:

Majora Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx and is a MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient. Check out her TEDTalks lecture about South Bronx.

Joy Bryant spoke at this year's Earth Day Festival on the National Mall. Check out this interview with Sulinh Lafontaine where she talks about the green practices of her grandmother in the South Bronx.

Kerry Washington is good friends with Danny Seo, an eco-stylist. His green makeover of her apartment was featured in the June 2009 issue of Oprah magazine. Check out this ELLE interview in which she mentions her summers away from the Bronx enjoying nature.