This September 11th, communities are honoring those who lost their lives eight years ago by participating in service activities. Churches, schools, and community groups are holding nearly one-hundred Green the Block service events in more than 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.
We just read about a handful of the events that are going on today, and imagine if everyday this was happening in every city all over the country...
In Brooklyn, one-hundred high school students are helping to green their community through urban gardening.
In Florida, local cooks are preparing an organic meal for their firefighters, to show gratitude and educate their community about healthy eating.
In Chicago, volunteers are cleaning and greening two community homeless shelters.
In Washington, D.C., elementary school students are delivering cards made from recycled materials to the troops at Walter Reed U.S. Army Medical Center.
In Atlanta, hundreds of light-bulbs will be exchanged for energy efficient ones.
In Chattanooga, Tennessee a ninety-year-old community center will get a green retrofit.
In Bakersfield, California local leaders will provide at-risk young men with jobs training.
After today's nearly one-hundred Green the Block events are completed, we will continue to promote building stronger communities through service and the Green the Block campaign.
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.
Green the Block is a 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 stake in the clean-energy economy. This September 11th, Green The Block teamed up with President Obama's United We Serve initiative to organize green community service events. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the CEO of Green For All. Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. is the President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus.