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Van Jones hails efforts to fill environmentally-conscious jobs niche

By Cody HeintzBusiness Manager

As the Day of Dialogue came to end, Van Jones gave the keynote speech for Day of Dialogue in the Student Center Theater.  The former special adviser to President Obama for the creation of green jobs focused on these jobs and the importance of community involvement. In a speech titled “Rebuilding the Dream,” Jones told the audience that the public cannot rely on politicians to enact change, but that the people must also work for change.

In the first part of his speech, Jones discussed how green jobs are necessary for the future health of our economy. Jones discussed how the recession crumbled the four pillars of our old economy, which was one, based off of spending and destroying our environment. In an interview Jones stated “Green jobs can be done by everyone… from lab coats to hard hats.” Jones also talked about how green jobs are important, as it transitions our economy from one based on consumerism but one based on construction and manufacturing.  Jones also made the point that the destruction to the environment must stop and that green jobs are just one way to fight global warming. Jones also said in the interview “”

Despite Jones’ past experience in being an adviser on green jobs, the bulk of his speech was on the importance on people getting involved in the local community.  As Jones put it, “Barack Obama did not create the movement, Barack Obama met the movement.”  Jones went on to explain that it takes people getting involved in order for change and progress to be made.

The event was organized by Mario Murillo of the Center of Civic Engagement and Athlene Collins of the Cultural Center. Murillo said, “It was nice to get someone that could talk about civic engagement after  the debates.”

Murillo also said that, “We appreciate his presence here and felt that the students got something out of this event today,” when asked how he thought the event went.

Senior history major Ariel Flajnik said “ It is really nice to see someone talk realistically about this election.”

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