The Green Life at San Quentin is an eco-literacy and self-sufficiency peer education program at San Quentin State Prison.Imagine a lively and passionate class of 25 students tackling some of the toughest issues humanity faces today. People are asking questions, sharing dynamic examples from their own personal stories, strategizing ways to integrate sustainable practices into their own lives and the lives of their loved ones, and organizing action plans to green the very institution where all this is taking place. Well, this is all happening in one of the most unexpected yet appropriate settings in Marin County…San Quentin State Prison. (now a project of Earth Island Institute)
Meet The Green Life: a sustainability and self-sufficiency program for the men of San Quentin, by the men of San Quentin. In April of 2009, the peer educators from the long running Keepin' It Real program invited Van Jones, a leading voice for equitable involvement in a new Green Economy, to speak. His talk and work served as a catalyst for collaboration between the North Block of San Quentin Peer Educator Group of Incarcerated Men, Angela Sevin (founder and director), and community volunteers to develop a groundbreaking eco-literacy and green job preparedness curriculum, striving to share practical pathways for meaningful lives. Now, co-led by Angela Sevin, the peer educators of San Quentin have taken what they learned and launched a pilot class engaging 20 more men in the aim of fulfilling the program’s mission:
"A collaboration of solutionaries from inside and outside communities that inspires and awakens our connection to the earth and each other, by contributing to individual, community and global transformation."
The Green Life is a peer education course with an intensive curriculum of topics that integrate spiritual and practical pathways toward obtaining the necessary skills and temperament to successfully perform in the new environmentally conscious America. It is a directive program, which includes identification and assessment of life skills, emotional readiness and needs of inmates in order to address and focus on the issues and areas required for re-entry into the new Green Economy. The course inspires accountability and emotional honesty on all levels, rebuilding integrity and self-esteem, and enabling participants to move toward a life of positive contribution and service to society.
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