“Green jobs” – those associated with the clean energy development sector, have been the fastest-growing employment type in California for years. These types of jobs not only provide good wages and stability for communities, but are also part of the transition to a cleaner, healthier world. CIPL has been committed to action and policy that furthers green jobs in the past and will continue to make this aim a priority in 2018.
Oakland Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition:
The Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition is focused on careers and training, and ongoing support for those who request it. “As someone who has done many trainings with those who have had barriers to employment in the past, I am really excited to see the faith community stepping up to provide support. Getting the job is only the first step. Keeping the job is the next – and making that job into a long-term, sustainable career is something we need to pay more attention to,” said Cheryl Vaughn, Executive Director of Solar Richmond.
The Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition has united to address the economic, environmental and social challenges that face East Bay communities by seeking to foster a thriving green economy that builds equity and inclusion. Members include California Interfaith Power & Light, Episcopal Impact Fund, Faith Baptist Church, Green the Church, GRID Alternatives, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Sierra Club, Sunswarm, West Side Missionary Baptist Church, and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.
In the wake of successful advocacy in the decision to ban coal exports from the Port of Oakland, this powerful and diverse coalition of leaders and members of various spiritual traditions helped to organize a full day Green Jobs Summit in October, 2016. The summit convened religious, environmental, workforce development, and political leaders to focus on creation and expansion of green job opportunities for youth and other members of communities most affected by fossil fuel pollution.
A Green Jobs Fair in April, 2017 brought companies, including AC Transit, East Bay MUD, East Bay Regional Parks District, City of Oakland, Goodwill Industries of the East Bay, and GRID Alternatives, to Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in West Oakland, which offered employment and resource information to job seekers.
“As a resident of West Oakland, I want to see this community, which has borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution, now benefit from the growth of the green jobs sector. As a pastor, I also feel compelled by my faith to care for Creation. In order to avoid catastrophic climate change, we need a green energy revolution, and I want my community to be part of that,” said Rev. Ambrose Carroll, Founder, Green the Church.
The Jobs Fair was planned for West Oakland in order to bring healthy and sustainable jobs to the community where the canceled coal export terminal had been proposed. Oakland clergy and community leaders have found common ground on the need for jobs and sustainable career paths in marginalized communities.
Speakers included Pastor Michael Wallace of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist (the host church), Pastor Ambrose Carroll, founder of Green the Church, Cheryl Vaughn of Solar Richmond, and Ms. Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.
Organizers of the event said they hoped to address the challenges of the climate crisis, economic inequality, displacement and high unemployment rates.
For follow-up information, or to interview exhibitors or job seekers, contact Cheryl Vaughn, [email protected]
Check out this video about the Summit provided generously by the Episcopal Impact Fund.
Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition is a network made up of the following organizations:
California Interfaith Power & Light • Green the Church • GRID Alternatives • Episcopal Impact Fund
West Side Missionary Baptist Church • Faith Baptist Church
• West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project • Sunswarm • Sierra Club
Every major faith tradition holds sacred the principle of protecting and preserving Creation. This translates into caring for the common good by not polluting our neighbor’s air, water and land. As people of faith, we are called to respond to global warming by promoting energy conservation, energy, efficiency, and renewable energy. We are called to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.