Last year, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) staff and council stood in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and issued a statement announcing a $10,000 scholarship for black youth. This arose in response to the unlawful killings of black Americans, such as George Floyd, and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests, which erupted around the world. GRHC stands in solidarity with these protests and recognizes these atrocities as racist and unjust.
The Green Infrastructure Training Scholarship for Black Youth was created to help break down the entry barriers for black youth into the green infrastructure industry. GRHC has partnered with environmental organizations and will provide free online training and tickets to our virtual events. black in green And Metro Blooms It participates in the first round of financing. BIG is a Chicago-based organization that acts as a bridge and catalyst between black communities to design and develop green, self-sustainable and walkable villages. Metro Blooms is a Minneapolis-based organization that strives to create and deepen existing connections within the sanitation communities.
Each organization will receive a $5,000 scholarship for green infrastructure training for any team member! This initiative is directed withDetermined to support unrepresented youth gain entry into the fast-growing green infrastructure industry,” announced last year.
With the scholarship, up to five individuals from each institution will be able to complete the 3-course program and test to become certified GRP Partners. GRP is Green Roof Professional Certified for Green Roof Installers and Maintenance Professionals. However, individuals will be free to allocate funds however they choose by the end of 2022. The funds can be applied to any of the online courses offered by the Living Architecture Academy.
The Metro Blooms Sustainable Land Care Training Program grew out of a community partnership. According to Associate Director Laura Schull, “The program was developed in partnership with communities that lack access to quality training programs and career paths in the green economy. In direct response to the expressed needs of society, we train young people so that they can benefit economically from the huge investment in green infrastructure. “
This funding will serve as catalysts to help young black professionals enter the field of green infrastructure; However, it is only the beginning. We recognize the need for continued allies and promotion of black-led organizations, initiatives, and projects. GRHC will continue to focus discussions of social justice and environmental racism in green infrastructure talks.
Will Hamilton, a participant in the Metro Blooms Sustainable Land Care Training, spoke about the biggest impact of training: He said, “There aren’t many minorities in this field, and Metro Blooms gives people the opportunity to work that they might not have landed in this field otherwise.”
Currently, GRHC is advocating the passage of HR Bill 1863 that would allocate millions in federal funding to the design, installation, and maintenance of green roofs in public schools across America. This is particularly important because the bill prioritizes low-income and often racist communities with limited access to outdoor spaces, and would provide young children and communities with access to green spaces. To show your support and learn more about the bill, click here: https://greenroofs.org/advocacy