Navajo advocates lead community in historic shift away from coal

Ken Polisse
4/9/10

The Navajo Green Economy Coalition was formed out of the hard work and deligence of the Black Mesa Water Coalition based in Flagstaff, Ariz. The coalition has been successful in working towards the passage of green jobs legislation by the Navajo tribal government.

The Navajo Green Economy Coalition moved from band-aid solutions fighting to curb coal mining on the reservation to advocating systemic change in how the Navajo economy is dependent on mining revenue, encountering both internal and external roadblocks in the process. The Navajo experience provides lessons that can be used in other communities, including the need to define green jobs at the community level, ensure broad-based democratic participation in the political and economic planning process and develop inside-outside strategies to mobilize both the community and policymakers.
Now the Applied Research Center recently released “Translating Green Into Navajo: Alternatives to Coal Mining and The Campaign for a Navajo Green Economy.” The case study profiles the Black Mesa Water Coalition based in Flagstaff, Arizona, and its work to spearhead the formation of the Navajo Green Economy Coalition. The Navajo experience provides compelling lessons for communities nationwide advocating for an inclusive and equitable green economy.

Visit the Web site to read and download “Translating Green Into Navajo” and the Green Equity Toolkit. Watch a video profiling Green Case Studies.

“Translating Green Into Navajo” is part of the Green Equity Toolkit, intended to help community organizations, public agencies and individuals maximize and share the benefits of green economy jobs. The Toolkit provides a guide for creating high-quality jobs that are fully accessible to people of color and women.

ARC has carried out extensive research to define good, green jobs and demonstrate how communities of color and women can experience shared benefits. “Translating Green Into Navajo” is part of a series of case studies highlighting model initiatives that advance race and gender equity in the green economy. Additional case studies can be downloaded.

Media Contact: Debayani Kar (510) 338-4917 or dkar@arc.org.

I am interested in a 800 word story on this recent release and on the coalition itself. The focus can be on the coalition with the release intertwined however it works best for the stronger piece. I would be interested in photos and other images to accompany the piece that will run in an upcoming ICT Insider: Business and in the Trade & Commerce section of the paper. Deadline is April 30

If interested please reply back to me at kpolisse@indiancountry.com

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