belvie-tom-denverI met Belvie Rooks last year via e-mail and telephone. She’d read Inheriting the Trade and invited me to join her last August for one of her monthly teleseminars that she calls ConverZations That Matter. As a result of that successful experience we’ve been looking for other opportunities to work together.

Last weekend was the first such opportunity. We both traveled to Colorado to speak at the Denver Green Festival. The Green Festivals are joint projects of Global Exchange and Green America. Their goal is to secure human rights for everyone by promoting social, economic and environmental justice.

Belvie and I discussed how this partnership of social, economic, and environmental issues is an obvious connection and an emerging conversation in many ways. Some folks may have seen these issues in isolation in the past but it is clear that the environment and economics are directly tied to social equity and justice. People who are most harmed by either economic (i.e., mortgage meltdown) or environmental disasters (i.e., Hurricane Katrina) are those who are most vulnerable in the world. They are mostly people of color.

For further understanding of ways in which restoring our failing economy and our environment will result in improved lives for the world’s most vulnerable people read The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones (recently hired by the Obama adminstration as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality).

If you get a chance to attend future Green Festivals in Chicago later this month, or Washington, DC and San Francisco in the fall, I’d encourage you to do so. Everything’s connected. We all have much to learn and much to do in the service of justice.