Joel Makower contributes a regular column to WorldChanging's Sustainability Sundays section. Joel regularly brings us some of our best reporting from the front lines of sustainability activism. In Green Jobs, Not Jails, Joel tells the story of Van Jones and his new NGO, Reclaim the Future, which aims to hack the forces which create both unsustainable communities and social injustice:
The connection between social inequality and environmental destruction isnt one made easily by most environmentalists. Sure, they may see a connection between a perceived lack of concern among politicians and corporations about both people and the planet. But thats usually about it. ...
Reclaim the Future is envisioned as a think tank and advocacy group representing and empowering ecologically sound, urban entrepreneurs and their local communities. "Our goal is to push for public-private-community partnerships endorsing clean, healthy, and economically developed urban environments. The project is devoted to fostering the creation of dignified, clean-energy job opportunities for de-incarcerated individuals and those at risk of encountering the punishment industry."
Or, as Jones puts it: Green Jobs, Not Jails.