Growing Clean Energy Jobs in Oakland! An Oakland Climate Action Coalition Community Forum

On Saturday, April 5th, Youth UpRising hosted an exciting day of people-powered solutions for climate action, local clean energy, and jobs. Over 90 people of all ages and backgrounds and more than twenty partnering organizations came together to explore possible answers to the questions: How do we create more jobs for our community, especially our youth? Is it possible for those jobs to be good for people AND for the planet? ...and how can the COMMUNITY, including youth, lead the way?

At this conference, Planting Justice educators, Haleh and Julio, facilitated a workshop that provides participants with the opportunity to learn about different historical events that are relevant to struggles for food justice today. What are the lessons we can learn from these social justice movements around the world and how can these stories inspire us - feed our souls - fuel our fire.

The workshop started with a discussion about the Mother's Milk Project, led by women of the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation to understand how toxic contaminants have moved through the local food chain and into mothers’ milk, our first sacred cycle within the food chain.

This led to a discussion about the importance of alliances built across differences as demonstrated within the United Farm Workers as well as in their successful boycott and strike carried out alongside the Black Panther Party and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Finally, we talked about Community Choice Energy and our power to live in a more sustainable and equitable way. We finished up with a discussion about where we've come from and what we want to see in the world. As one of the key organizers for the event, Colin Miller, expressed, "From the energy at the event, it's clear we are ready for the kind of change that will empower Oakland residents to build our health and our wealth."