Friday, April 16, 2010

Green is the New Black!

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!

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  1. My little sister is amazing. So proud of her!

  2. This is so exciting and NECESSARY now more than ever! As many of us have experienced, having children changes us in so many ways. For me, my "Greening" began about 6 years ago with the birth of our first child, and I've been taking baby steps toward better understanding the importance of eco-consciousness and sharing that information with my children. I am so grateful to Angie and the entire GYF team for providing a place for me to learn and grow in this GREEN walk!

    The GYF team goes HARD and what I love about them is their relentless nature when it comes to finding and implementing programs that serve my children, your children, and ultimately as many children as they can reach, with easy-to-understand, and highly effective means of learning what it means to be a steward of the environment.

    I'm so excited about this process and shout out to MBB for keeping us informed!

    Next stop, the U.N!!

  3. Great stuff Angelou!! Go GYF!!!!

  4. Way to go! Will there tomorrow too!

  5. BLACKswan will meet GYF on FB for sure.
    Wish we could be there for the festival! Angelou...keep up the good work!

  6. Thank you everybody!!!!!

    I just don’t know where to start… the past 48 hours has been a world wind to say the least. As D. indicated, throughout the past two days, I met with various high level directors within the Department of Interior ranging from the Director of Youth Programs to the CEO and President of the National Park Foundation. And, I am happy to report that the National Park Foundation is very excited about the opportunity to support the reality show, Green. The Nu Black and GYF’s Public School Initiative! Further, our org has been asked to help draft criteria for the establishment of a capacity building grant program for grass roots organizations. GYF is effecting change!!!

    I am so thankful for our team, my family, our fantastic Board of Directors and for GOD who continuously guides my steps.

    Thank you D. for sharing this information with your fabulous MBB readers!

  7. How fly is she? Supa dupa fly! I'm so exited for you!

  8. Congratulations on the upcoming launch, Angelou. You're an inspiration! Vesey is steadily working to get an environmental club started at his elementary school thanks to his interview with you. The work you do matters!


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