Top 5 Black Environmentalists You Need to Know About

green is the new black

Last year I brought you Top 5 White People Worth Interrupting Black History Month For as a statement that while this site has a strong focus on Black people there are many ideas out there and all of our answers were not going to come from only dealing with Black people. The question was raised “Why not do a list of People of Color instead? We are underrepresented.” Well, the representation of people of color on is the reverse or the mainstream, but here’s a list anyway. This one highlights Black environmentalists.

Who says Black people don’t care about the environment? For Black History Month we introduce these Black environmentalists (5 in no particular order) but we celebrate them all year round.


majora carter green

I believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your neighborhood to live in a better one.”

If you read this site you know I’ve posted about Majora Carter before. She “greened the ghetto” by founding Sustainable South Bronx, where she pioneered green-collar job training and placement systems in one of the most environmentally and economically challenged parts of the US.
Majora Carter on


van jones at national summit

Polar bears, Priuses and Ph.D.s aren’t going to do it alone. Everything our friends in the eco-élite do will vanish unless we find a way to expand green jobs to the rest of the economy.”

I’ve also written about Van Jones several times on this site and as I’ve said before, I find him tremendously inspirational.

Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. Van is a co-founder of 3 successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs: The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009.
Van Jones on



Our relatives in Africa are suffering due to climate change related droughts or excess rains brought on by our over consumptive habits.”

She describes herself as a Treehugging banker mom, but she’s also Gloria, the woman who runs a website called Black Into Green. Black Into Green focuses on sharing tips news ideas on all aspects of green living/business from an African American perspective. With archives that date to 2008 Gloria has help set the foundation for this tiny online niche addressing Black folks and the environment which is gaining visibility due to its importance by the day.
Gloria on


john francis

I tell my students, ‘If you are moved to such a degree that you feel the pain, and that you can feel the tears running down your face, then you’re looking at an opportunity to make a change, to make a difference in the world.’”

Environmental activist Dr. John Francis spent 22 years on a journey across America, mostly on foot and deliberately without the aid of motorized devices. It was an affirmation of his responsibility to our planet, but it was only the start of a much deeper transformation. What pushed him to do it? The death of a friend and an oil spill. A few months later he took a vow of silence that would last 17 years.


michelle obama lets move

Child hunger and child obesity are really just two sides of the same coin. Both rob our children of the energy, the strength and the stamina they need to succeed in school and in life. And that, in turn, robs our country of so much of their promise.” –Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signing

As the First Lady is a mother, wife, lawyer and public servant Michelle Obama has solving the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation as her goal. She has launched the Let’s Move! campaign to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity. She’s even taken on agribusiness and food manufacturers for not making health-minded changes to their products and way of doing business.
Michelle Obama on


  1. Gloria

    Your blog is so mentally and visually appealing! Thank you for the work you put into it and thank you for including me among such great black and green folks! I’m honored. Peace. Gloria

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