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Session on Racial Dialogue in the Green Economy

June 22, 2010

A troubled history of segregation and racial inequity still underlies many of the challenges our cities face, and honest dialogue about these issues must inform the solutions we implement.  With that in mind, Pittsburghers Fred Brown of the Kingsley Association and Pat Clark of Jackson/Clark Partners have prepared a session for the conference on the racial reconciliation process they’ve developed to aide the revitalization of a community in their city:

The Larimer neighborhood of Pittsburgh has some of the highest levels of vacant land and abandoned property in the city.  Perhaps not surprisingly, Larimer is also home to a challenged resident population, including high percentages of single women-headed households and former prisoners.

Armed with a new neighborhood plan that’s based on a community-driven process and sustainable practices, residents and partners are moving ahead to revitalize a community that’s been written off by many for more than a generation. As Larimer begins to attract green economy and environmental partners as a part of these initiatives, the need for a frank dialogue on race has become increasingly apparent. Larimer’s lead community-based organization and the consultant who developed the community plan have joined forces to begin to create an effective racial reconciliation process that brings together community members and green economy activists.  The effort seeks to empower this population through greening principles that promote 21st century green collar economy livable wage jobs in conjunction with the implementation of a new green community.

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