So how fly is my sister-in-law/BFF/resident environmentalist Angelou? So fly that she's in Washington, repping her non-profit children's environmental group, Greening Youth Foundation, at a White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors. Newark Mayor Cory Booker is there. Governor Bill Richardson is there, too, as are the heads of the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency. And sometime today, she's scheduled to meet favorite guy, President Barack Obama!
The conference is part of President Obama's ongoing conversation about the greening of America, and Angelou is onboard to talk about how to include both people of color as well as kids and young adults in the Green Revolution. It is a mission that is a passion of Angelou's, and she's done some pretty incredible things with her foundation: Her team teaches children in a dozen schools throughout the Atlanta area how to respect and protect the environment; she's lined up several summer internship programs for high school and college students in the nation's national parks, and; she's become quite the outspoken advocate on behalf of organizations working to get black folks engaged in green initiatives.
Most heartening is Angelou's work with the babies; indeed, not even 24 hours after Mrs. Ezeilo finishes up in Washington, she'll be back here in Georgia throwing her second annual Earth Day Festival, which will play host to hundreds of kids who'll exchange recyclables for chances to ride and play in Greening Youth's "green" park full of giant bounce machines and slides, mazes, and fun games. Plus, she's got 14 vendors on deck, including REI, Kroger, Nike, and even the Boy Scouts, to carry out the fun festival’s mission to properly dispose of hundreds of pounds of recyclables and educate the students to effective ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
If the success of last year’s event is any indication, GYF’s Earth Day Fun Festival will make quite a difference for the environment. In it’s inaugural year, the GYF festival collected: more than three tons—6,000 lbs—of large electronic recyclables like computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, stereos and speakers; about 200 pieces of portable electronics, including cell phones, cameras, PDAs and computer games; about 400 pairs of sneakers; about 100 cubic feet of grocery bags and 400 cubic feet of paper and cardboard, and; more than 100 batteries, plus a few odds and ends, including linear fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs and even a car!
And as if she doesn't have her hands in enough projects, Angelou and her team released a video yesterday announcing a new online reality show she'll be producing, which will chronicle the journey of GYF interns set to become one with nature and the national parks this summer. Here's a sneek peek:
For sure, I'm so very proud of my little sis! Check out her Greening Youth Foundation HERE, become a FaceBook fan of her organization (on the right lower side of her foundation's homepage), peep her on the cover of our local county magazine, Our Town, and, if you're so moved, please leave her a few words of encouragement as she works in Washington to open doors and breathe new, fresh life into the Green Movement.
Angie? You're THE ONE—love you, girl!