Green Code Youth Ambassador Training

HI Buffalo and WNY! This is Anthony and Adriana from Growing Green and we're reporting back on our Green Code Youth Ambassador Training with Healthy Kids Healthy Communities last Thursday at the BNMC--that's Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. It was important to have this training for youth leaders because youth need to have a voice in how our communities are planned. We have good ideas and we will be the ones growing up there right?? We had over 50 people attend, learn about how we can use zoning to create better communities. We were at the Innovation Center at the Medical Campus and its was cool to be in such a modern building-we felt like scientists.

What's up world? this is Anthony and I think it went great. We had youth from all different areas of Buffalo including East Side, Riverside, South Buffalo, North Buffalo and of course the West Side. We formed different groups and created our own cities and decided what we would use the land for and where we would have residential, commercial, public services, industrial and other uses. We talked about fun recreational ideas for youth, more parks on the waterfront, gardens and urban farms in every neighborhood, even businesses out on Lake Erie on boats. We played urban experience bingo and got to know eachother thru our Where the Wind Blows game. I think the best part was talking about our dream cities--I had a laugh attack but Iliana helped me talk about our perfect city to the big group.

We learned the difference between a program, policy and project and talked about what we wanted to say at our neighborhood meetings.

Well this is Adriana and I thought the best part was talking about what we would change about our neighborhood. We have some vacant lots near my house and I think they should be used to build a beautiful garden for the community, it would make the street prettier and we could grow fruit trees like cherry, peach or pears. I talked with some college students and teens from South Park Highschool and we are all going to call each other to remind us about going to the Green Code neighborhood meetings.

Well that's our report and If you are reading this make sure you go to the Green Code meetings and let them know what you think about how we use land in this city. If we dont they might do something we don't want and you could have to live or go to school next to a factory--What?!?! That's not right. SO dont forget to go and check out the map(http://www.buffalogreencode.com/february-community-meetings/) for when a meeting will be happening in your neighborhood

MAP & Growing Green-- a hit at the 2011 Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference

Hello bloggers. Zoe here. Just back from presenting at the 2011 Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference with my fellow Green for All fellows. Hosted by the Blue Green Alliance, the conference brings together representatives from labor, environmental organizations and community non-profits to discuss a more sustainable future and green jobs. It was inspiring to see the combination of attendees, speakers and workshop topics all taking place at one event. For our panel, “Faces of the New Green: Models in Green Jobs Development Among Low-Income Communities & Communities of Color,” each of us described our work, our different projects and perspectives, keys to our progress, challenges and finally we shared critical questions with our audience about how to accomplish our shared goal –building a more sustainable economy for a future that we are proud to pass on to future generations.

As a youth development and food justice professional, I am proud to say that our issues related to food security and youth employment were echoed by people from communities in DC, NYC, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, and beyond. In our breakout groups It was uplifting to hear peoples’ praises in support of our work at MAP and feel the solidarity of sharing similar struggles.

I was able to make connections with other groups and individuals and get to know better the work of my Green for All fellows. At one workshop, I met several youth leaders from Manhattan Comprehensive Day and Night School, a unique school where youth can obtain a highschool diploma in 2 years and get green job training and skills for their future. I felt an immediate connection with the teens through their presentations and hearing their stories. It reminded me of our Growing Green program and we made promises to get in touch and see if we could build a bridge between our two organizations. Getting closer to some of my Green for All fellows and hearing about some of their best practices and challenges helped build our existing relationships and opened some new possibilities to work together.

What I parted with from this experience was a sense of alignment with thousands of others in the movement, working for better choices for our communities. I feel proud to represent my community of Buffalo, our youth and our work at Growing Green. My fellowship with Green for All has been a wonderful opportunity to see how diverse our movement is and what can happen when diversity is cultivated. I'm recharged and glad to be back home