Environmental trailblazers to speak at NAU

Env Professor jones

The Provost’s Speaker Series will bring environmentalist vanguards Van Jones and Billy Parish to the NAU campus to discuss “Challenging America: Achieving Sustainability and Justice through the Green Collar Economy” on March 22 at 4 p.m. in the du Bois Center ballroom.

“To have two such important figures talking about these problems in a conversation with Flagstaff students and leaders is an amazing opportunity for the future of our region’s actions and policies on the environment, the economy and social justice,” said Shelley Silbert, chair of the Environmental Caucus and director of Strategic Environmental Initiatives.

The topic is a reflection of efforts by the NAU Task Force on Global Education, charged by the president and the provost to transform NAU into a global campus with a focus on diversity, sustainability and global education. The event is presented by the Office of the Provost and the Center for International Education and is co-sponsored by the Environmental Caucus. It is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

Jones is a globally-recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. He is the bestselling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green-Collar Economy. Jones co-founded the non-profit institutions Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Green for All and Color of Change and served as the Green Jobs advisor for the Obama administration in 2009.

Billy Parish

Parish is a leading youth organizer on climate change. As founder and coordinator of the Energy Action Coalition, he has traveled throughout the nation, organizing more than 50 diverse, youth-led organizations into a joint campaign called The Campus Climate Challenge. Parish lives in Flagstaff with his wife, Wahleah Johns.

“Van has been a kind of ‘Johnny Appleseed’ for the Green Economy movement, inspiring communities to create green-collar jobs and sharing lessons he’s learned about what works,” said Parish.  “I’m excited for him to help us bring even more members of our community on board and to hear the most exciting things he’s seen emerge across the country. I’m also looking forward to showing him how much we already have going on here.”

For information, contact Blase Scarnati at (928) 523-2876.