Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins: A Road Map to Equity

This post is part of a series presenting equity leaders’ reactions to “America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model” — a new paper that challenges the nation to invest in our collective future. This post is written by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Chief Executive Officer of Green For All. Click here to read other reflections.

America doesn’t work if it’s two countries with opposite bank balances.

PolicyLink’s comprehensive look at the benefits of increased social equity is as timely as it is important. Many Americans sense that inequality is detrimental; PolicyLink proved it – and showed how difficult it will be for our economy to fully recover without also addressing underlying social issues.

Our mission at Green For All views that challenge from the opposite perspective: using the growth of the green economy (now measured by Brookings as larger than the fossil fuel sector) to increase social equity. With solar growing 67% year-over-year, with green businesses increasingly representing the most entrepreneurial companies in America – we can’t afford not to engage people in the green economy. It’s why we are deliberate about engaging communities of color, and fight for investment in strategies that can prepare and expand the green economy workforce.

Inequality can seem intangible. As I write this, thousands of people across the country are sleeping in tents to ensure that it’s not – and they’re doing so effectively. PolicyLink’s research puts numbers behind the slogans, adds many more percentages as outrageous as 1%.

America is waking up to the fact that inequality is an impediment, not a side effect. We need to move toward an economy that’s sustainable for people as well as the planet.

PolicyLink has provided a road map.

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