New Report Draws Valuable Lessons from Navajo Green Economy Coalition

03.24.2010 – Media Contact: Debayani Kar 510.338.4917 or

March 24, 2010:  Applied Research Center (ARC) is releasing today “Translating Green Into Navajo: Alternatives to Coal Mining and The Campaign for a Navajo Green Economy.” The case study profiles the Black Mesa Water Coalition based in Flagstaff, Arizona, and its work to spearhead the formation of the Navajo Green Economy Coalition. The Navajo experience provides compelling lessons for communities nationwide advocating for an inclusive and equitable green economy.

Visit to read and download “Translating Green Into Navajo” and the Green Equity Toolkit.

“Last year, the Navajo Green Economy Coalition was successful in advocating for passage of green jobs legislation by the Navajo tribal government,” says Yvonne Liu, Senior Research Associate at the Applied Research Center and author of “Translating Green Into Navajo.” “Community organizers see the legislation as a revolutionary shift for their nation, which will fundamentally change their economy while at the same time democratizing tribal government.”

The Navajo Green Economy Coalition moved from band-aid solutions fighting to curb coal mining on the reservation to advocating systemic change in how the Navajo economy is dependent on mining revenue, encountering both internal and external roadblocks in the process. The Navajo experience provides lessons that can be used in other communities, including the need to define green jobs at the community level, ensure broad-based democratic participation in the political and economic planning process and develop inside-outside strategies to mobilize both the community and policymakers.

“Translating Green Into Navajo” is part of the Green Equity Toolkit, intended to help community organizations, public agencies and individuals maximize and share the benefits of green economy jobs. The Toolkit provides a guide for creating high-quality jobs that are fully accessible to people of color and women.

ARC has carried out extensive research to define good, green jobs and demonstrate how communities of color and women can experience shared benefits. “Translating Green Into Navajo” is part of a series of case studies highlighting model initiatives that advance race and gender equity in the green economy. Additional case studies can be downloaded at

FOUNDED IN 1981, Applied Research Center is America's leading think tank on racial justice. ARC investigates the racial consequences of public policy initiatives and develops new frameworks and solutions to address racial inequality. With offices in New York and Oakland, and staff in Chicago and Los Angeles, ARC engages in media and journalism, strategic research and policy analysis and leadership development. ARC publishes ColorLines magazine.