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The power of Dr. King’s dream changed my life.

Growing up as a child in East Oakland, CA, poverty and pollution were the backdrops of my day-to-day life.  A major freeway poured exhaust fumes onto my elementary school grounds, and the creek in my backyard ran thick with waste. We were just kids, chasing tadpoles despite the stench.  But I grew up fast.  I lost my mother to the streets when I was only six.  Soon after, I lost my father to prison.

Despite losing my mom, the draw of the money that I saw young men making selling drugs was strong. I decided I’d get mine too. In January of 2005, I was arrested for possession with intent to sell crack cocaine and marijuana. 

It’s a familiar tale, right?  My story, though, turns out differently than too many of the people I grew up with.  

Given the choice of jail or school, I chose to enroll at a community college.  While there, I learned about the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.  I decided I needed to build something lasting for my community.  I began the journey that would lead me to Dr. King’s alma mater, Morehouse College.

At Morehouse, I discovered Green For All and the movement for green-collar jobs.  My calling to change my community became action.  I started educating and organizing for a movement that Dr. King would be proud of: an inclusive green economy, one that lifts people out of poverty while making communities cleaner and streets safer.


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