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Green Activists Sought
by Stephen Morris
I first heard about the Green Corps from a friend whose daughter was accepted into the program. An organization that will pay you to become an environmental activist? It seemed too good to be true, but Green Corps is real. Be forewarned, however, this is a very competitive program. Only 35 of 700 applicants were selected last year.
Statement from Green Corps Director Naomi Roth
Historically, the progress of the environmental movement has been founded on a groundswell of grassroots support and talented leaders who have translated this energy to action. Leaders such as David Brower and Lois Gibbs were able to inspire everyday citizens to wield their collective power to hold corporations and government accountable to the public for a safe and healthy environment. We are fortunate that the environmental crises of the past have often inspired new environmental leaders to rise up to meet the challenges of the day. However, as our current leaders mature, we are tempting fate if we leave the task of leadership recruitment, training and development to chance.
If we want to keep environmental protections of our air and water, our endangered species, our wilderness, and so much more - and create a green vision for the future, we must continue to lead public education campaigns and grassroots organizing efforts and support the next generation of environmental activists and leaders.
That's why in 1992, we enlisted the help of legendary environmental activists David Brower, Cesar Chavez, and Lois Gibbs to help us create Green Corps and our Environmental Leadership Training Program.
Green Corps' mission is to teach the next generation of environmental leaders the strategies and skills they'll need to win tomorrow's environmental battles while providing critical field support for today's pressing environmental problems.
Since our inception, we have trained thousands of young people in the skills of organizing and advocacy who have led scores of critical environmental campaigns, and helped launch the careers of 190 Green Corps graduates currently holding positions of leadership in the environmental and social change movement.
It takes vision and courage to tackle our planet's massive environmental problems. But, to actually change the practices behind the pollution, waste and destruction, it takes leadership. Green Corps graduates aspire to be among the leaders of the next generation that create a greener and more sustainable future for our communities and world.
Do you have to be a graduating senior from college to apply?
No. Most of our applicants are recent college graduates, because the program is for those who are ready to launch their environmental careers. However, there is no age limitation to the program.
Do you need to have environmental experience in order to apply?
Not necessarily. Our applicants have a diversity of interests and experiences. We are looking for people who are serious about saving the planet, have experience working with environmental or social change issues, and have demonstrated leadership experience.
Does Green Corps hire international candidates?
Green Corps hires qualified individuals who are authorized to work in the United States. International students who have a VISA with work permit are invited to apply. Green Corps does not arrange for work permits or act as a sponsor through any governmental or private job or training program. As a nonprofit organization, Green Corps is unable to devote financial and staff resources in assisting applicants to obtain work authorization.
Does the program provide housing and transportation?
Green Corps will provide transportation to and from trainings after you've finished our August training, as well as subsidized housing during the first Introductory Classroom Training in Boston. Organizers are responsible for arranging their own housing while in their cities, although Green Corps will help provide temporary housing through its network when organizers first arrive in their cities.
How is Green Corps funded?
Green Corps is supported by grants, citizen sponsorships, event fundraising, and campaign sponsors.
How competitive is the program?
Similar to other post-graduate fellowships, the Green Corps program attracts many qualified candidates. Last year, we offered positions to 35 candidates out of approximately 700 applicants. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, we are unable to offer positions to all candidates that apply. However, we do offer a unique referral program where we refer some of our candidates to other environmental and social change organizations that may be a better fit. Last year, dozens of candidates were offered positions through the Green Corps referral program.
What is the Community Organizing Program?
The Community Organizing Program offers hands-on experience in community organizing throughout the year with Toxics Action Center, helping neighborhood groups across New England fight toxic pollution in their communities. In addition to learning basic organizing and activism skills through Green Corps' Introductory Classroom Training, these organizers learn how to conduct group consultations, which help citizens develop plans and implement strategies that effectively address local pollution issues. This specialized program emphasizes building long-term relationships with community groups and is a recommended two year commitment with the Toxics Action Center.
Can I choose the campaigns I work on?
Green Corps chooses the field campaigns centrally - to provide a range of learning experiences and as a way to make a larger impact nationally and to allow the organizing directors to provide more relevant supervision. Each organizer tailors the campaign to fit local needs and focus.
What are the benefits?
Salary of $23,750. Optional group health care coverage, paid sick days and holidays, two weeks paid vacation, and a student loan repayment program for qualifying staff.
Can I choose my location?
We ask all candidates where they would like to work. However, we match our organizers with the cities where we think they'll have the best learning experience and make the biggest impact. We will not guarantee placement in a certain location. Organizers will receive a tentative placement during the summer and they should arrive at Boston training knowing that their placement may change. Part of the excitement of Green Corps is traveling around the country and working in new cities.
Green Corps Central Office
44 Winter Street, 4th fl.
Boston, MA 02108
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