Green Collar Heroes

The green movement is about more than celebrities driving hybrid cars and building green homes. It's about everyday people around the country doing grassroots work to reshape their streets, blocks, neighborhoods and cities. Through strategies ranging from hip-hop to children's television to beekeeping--yes, beekeeping!--these 10 community leaders are making the green movement accessible, fun and profitable.

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  • Zakiya Harris

    Zakiya Harris

    Grind for the Green

    Harris uses hip-hop to teach green principles and produced the first solar-powered hip-hop concert.

    Pictured with Harris is her husband, Ambessa Cantave, the co-founder and co-director of Grind for the Green.

    “What hip-hop does is provide a framework where young people realize that they are part of the green movement.”

    READ more about Harris.

    Captions by Jewel Edwards

  • LaDonna Redmond

    LaDonna Redmond

    Institute for Community Resource Development

    Redmond runs an urban faming collective and is working to start an organic grocery store on Chicago’s West Side.

    “We really are going to have to figure out what our food system is going to look like in a post-carbon economy.”

    READ more about Redmond.

  • John Moore

    John Moore

    New Orleans’ Energy & Environmental Policy Analyst

    Moore is working to map the carbon footprint of his hometown and turn New Orleans into an energy-efficient city.

    “I knew that showing up in New Orleans, in a city basically starting from ground zero, that there was a huge opportunity for change.”

    READ more about Moore.

  • Daniell "Danni" Washington

    Daniell "Danni" Washington

    The Big Blue & You Foundation, Inc.

    Washington is taking her mission to save the oceans to TV, pitching her own show “The Big Blue and You” to TV networks.

    “The ocean is life. We need the ocean to survive on this planet. We need to do something to protect this place.”

    READ more about Washington.

  • Juan Reynosa

    Juan Reynosa

    New Mexico Youth Organized

    Reynosa is working to reduce the dependence of local communites on oil-based economies.

    “The youth, they’re going to be the main ones to turn around the community in Hobbs. The youth are excited about this and are wanting to lead.”

    READ more about Reynosa.

  • Kandi Mossett

    Kandi Mossett

    Indigenous Environmental Network

    Mossett works in tribal communities to reduce environmental hazards and to teach young people to build more eco-friendly communities.

    “When people don’t know about these things, they don’t have to carry the weight of having some responsibility for how our planet is doing.”

    READ more about Mossett.

  • Brenda Palms-Barber

    Brenda Palms-Barber

    North Lawndale Employment Network & Beeline

    Palms-Barber is training people with criminal records to be business people through the art of urban beekeeping.

    “We’re able to take street skills and transform those skills into mainstream competitive skills for the job market.”

    READ more about Palms-Barber.

  • Tony Anderson & Marcus Penny

    Tony Anderson & Marcus Penny

    Let’s Raise a Million

    Anderson (right) and Penny install energy efficient compact flourescent bulbs in individual homes to help families go green.

    “If we use these light bulbs as seeds, something new will come of it.”

    READ more about Anderson.

  • Baye Adofo-Wilson

    Baye Adofo-Wilson

    Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District

    Adofo-Wilson is working to transform a neglected Newark neighborhood in to an arts-focused eco-district with an annual music festival that aims to rally the community around the green movement.

    “The Lincoln Park Music Festival is intergenerational. By having all different types of music you expose different generations to the sustainable lifestyle.”

    READ more about Adofo-Wilson.

  • Karen Monahan

    Karen Monahan

    Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota & HIRE

    Monahan works to build community support for green jobs and to promote environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

    “When you think of green, it’s a shift in consciousness to know that we are a part of each other and the ecosystem.”

    READ more about Monahan.

  • Check Out More Galleries from Our Archives

    Check Out More Galleries from Our Archives

    The Root: Keeping it clean and natural.

    Yodith Dammlash: No you can’t touch my hair!

    Danielle Kwateng: A Ghanaian take on Africhic.

    Martin Johnson: How Hammerin’ Hank nailed his place in history.