An All-Inclusive Earth Day - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue



Like the afterschool programs of yesteryear, green jobs guru Van Jones announced at a White House news conference today that Americans should anticipate “A very special Earth Day; an Earth Day for everybody.”

While Earth Days of the past have always been open to everyone, some say the low-income and impoverished communities of our country have been excluded from the celebration and the solutions.

Jones announced that President Barack Obama’s “Everybody Earth Day Agenda” is the beginning of a new energy policy for the U.S. that is more egalitarian. To bring that point home, on Earth Day, Obama will visit a closed-down Maytag factory in Newton, Iowa that is now home to a wind turbine factory which brought 140 new green collar jobs back to the town. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama’s plan to jumpstart the economy, allocated $16.8 billion to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to, among other things, repurpose manufacturing factories like this one across the country.

“You can fight pollution and poverty at the same time,” says Jones, the special adviser for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation for the Council on Environmental Quality.

From his perspective, investing in a green workforce is a cure all. For example, the money paid to a green worker for home weatherization will cut a homeowners energy bill, cut air pollution, cut asthma, cut global warming emissions, and increase the value of that home all while reducing unemployment.

“Those dollars that are spent on weatherization and energy efficiency are the hardest working dollars in the history of American politics. Those dollars work overtime, triple time, and quadruple time,” Jones says.

He also announced that the federal government is partnering with city and state governments to put people to work in the places that need it most. In addition, Hilda Solis, secretary of the interior, will be paying close attention to make sure that green jobs are good jobs that pay fair wages, he says.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.