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Green the Block :: Beauty from the Ashes

Green the Block is a joint campaign of Green For All and the Hip Hop Caucus, designed to educate and mobilize low-income communities and communities of color to ensure a voice and a stake in the clean-energy economy. To honor the victims of September 11, 2001, Green the Block sponsored community service projects in cities throughout the country.

Green the Block Oakland

In Oakland, Art in Action's CommuniTree Project organized a garden planting day behind their new green youth media center.

Photo courtesy of Green the Block

On September 11th, communities around the country honored those who lost their lives eight years ago by participating in service activities. Churches, schools, and community groups held nearly one hundred Green the Block service events in 24 states.

All across the nation, people are choosing to act on encouragement instead of discouragement, on hope instead of despair.

Both of us are often asked to speak for those who have no voice, and to remind others of those who are often forgotten. We are asked to respond to the frustrations of our communities and fulfill the aspirations of those who are seeking better lives. Yet we are constantly humbled by those who we strive to serve.

To see people from all walks of life take up service as a way to remember the tragedy of 9/11 is beauty from ashes. It is also part of the solution that will put our nation on the road to recovery, permanently.

GTB glove

The Oakland project involved dozens of people, including neighbors who stopped to pitch in.

Photo courtesy of Green the Block

Considering even a handful of the events that were organized on September 11, made us imagine what it would be like if this were  happening everyday in every city all over the country...

In Brooklyn, one-hundred high school students helped to green their community through urban gardening.

In Florida, local cooks prepared an organic meal for their firefighters, to show gratitude and educate their community about healthy eating.

In Chicago, volunteers cleaned and greened two community homeless shelters.

In Washington, D.C., elementary school students delivered cards made from recycled materials to the troops at Walter Reed U.S. Army Medical Center.

In Atlanta, hundreds of light-bulbs were exchanged for energy efficient ones.

Green the Block Miami

In Miami, the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center sponsored a communtiy clean-up.

Photo courtesy of Green the Block.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee a ninety-year-old community center got a green retrofit.

In Bakersfield, California local leaders provided at-risk young men with jobs training.

And the events of September 11 were just the beginning.  The Green the Block campaign will continue to promote building stronger communities through service.

Join us today and everyday hereafter in working for peace and prosperity for everyone, because it is in the daily struggle for a brighter future that we truly remember and honor those who died on 9/11.


Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Rev. YearwoodPhaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the CEO of Green for All. Rev. Lennox Yearwood is the president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus. Together, the Green for All and the Hip Hop Caucus formed Green the Block, a campaign designed to educate and mobilize low-income communities and communities of color to ensure a voice and stake in the clean-energy economy.

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