Based in the Bay Area, the mission of Grind for the Green is to move young people of color from the margins to the epicenter of the environmental movement. G4G acts as a communicator of current environmental policy issues and sustainable lifestyle choices to diverse communities. As such, it represents a continuation of the environmental justice movement and its goals of empowering low-income disadvantaged communities to gain access to green economic resources and address environmental challenges. Our aim is to serve as the first step in a viable pathway of engagement and education on environmental issues by providing communities with the information and opportunities to set and achieve goals, be role models for their peers, make responsible consumer choices and pursue careers in the emerging green economy. G4G is helping to catalyze change at the individual, family and community level.
G4G is the largest youth-led “green” social marketing and events organization in the nation. All of our social media, workshops, and special events are rooted in an eco-awareness and environmental justice framework, and use music and culture to empower young people with information and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions and take action in their communities. Over the past 3 years G4G has provided environmental education and training opportunities to some of the most hard to reach underserved youth (ages 14-24) in the Bay Area. G4G has served over 1,000 low-income youth of color through its eco-hop infused conferences and special events, provided over 20 youth with “green jobs” and produced the first solar powered hip-hop concert series in the Bay Area.
Zakiya Harris is a California native, who has been working as an artist, educator and activist for the past 10 years. She received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Rutgers University and attended New College of Law in San Francisco before leaving to pursue her life long passion of teaching. She has taught elementary through collegiate level in a variety of public and private settings. In 2003, she became the lead trainer at the DJ Project where she facilitated job training and entrepreneurship modules using the medium of hip-hop culture. In 2007, she Co-Founded Grind for the Green the largest youth led “green” social media and events program in the nation, which is committed to moving young people of color from the margins to the epicenter of the environmental movement using hip-hop, art and culture. The program has been heralded for its innovation and production of the 1st Solar Powered Hip-Hop Music Concert in the Bay Area. In 2008, she became the first African-American Regional Director of the San Francisco Green Festival, the largest sustainability event on the planet, where she served for two years before transitioning into her current position of Community Catalyst. Named one to watch by Grist.org, some of her achievements include receiving the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Future Leaders award, serving as a Fellow for Green For All under the direction of Van Jones and becoming a Bold Food Fellow. An accomplished public speaker, she has presented at Green Festivals, Tedx Denver, Toyota Motors Inc and the NAACP national Convention. Recently she co-founded Earthseed Consulting LLC her first for profit venture, the firm is dedicated to inspiring and informing a better way to live on the planet. Her worked will also be featured in the October 2011 edition of Readers Digest. She is also an accomplished dancer, vocalist, actor and member of the west coast based neo folkloric ensemble Ase Dance Theater Collective. Her highest honor in life is being a mother to her beautiful 5-year old daughter.