Mission, Vision, Roots, and Accomplishments

Harvest Festival 2014

Mission and Vision:

Green City Force’s (GCF) mission is to break the cycle of poverty, preparing urban young adults to succeed in their chosen careers by engaging them in service, training, academics and work experiences related to the clean energy economy. In doing so, GCF encourages them to lead socially and environmentally responsible lives.

We are working towards a “green city” built on principles of sustainability, social, economic and environmental justice.

As an AmeriCorps program, Green City Force works towards this vision through our model citywide Clean Energy Corps in New York City. Through national service, our program engages young people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, inspires passion for sustainability and service, stimulates the demand for green services, and creates ladders to careers in the green economy for young people living in poverty.

Our ambition is that national service directed at reducing green-house gas emissions and improving the environment becomes an avenue to prosperity for a generation of urban youth in New York City, as well as a means to build a culture of sustainability that can drive the growth of the green economy.


Founder and Executive Director Lisbeth Shepherd co-founded Unis-Cité, the leading national service corps in France, as an Echoing Green Fellow, and served as chair of the national Clean Energy Corps Working Group at Green for All and consultant to the After Prison Initiative of the Open Society Institute on the development of the Civic Justice Corps.  Green City Force’s model draws on the principles of the Clean Energy Corps, and particularly the Clean Energy Service Corps, now serving as a platform for expanding green national service through the implementation of the Kennedy Serve America Act, seen here.


Green City Force launched its pilot corps in partnership with Community Environmental Center on National Weatherization Day in October 2009, as part of the  Cypress Hills Verde block-by-block initiative along with the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and LIUNA (Laborers Local 10). GCF engaged its first full cohort in spring 2010, recruited in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) during Earth Week 2010. GCF partnered with Community Environmental Center on two major campaigns in 2010: the NYC Cool Roofs initiative and a major campaign to improve health, safety and energy efficiency in multi-family homes in Brooklyn and Queens. Learn more about GCF’s impact on its participants and the environment in our first year here.

For more information on our recent accomplishments, download our Green City Force Overview flyer.


Team Leader Kenta Darley-Usmar and GCF Corps Members

GCF Corps Members paint a rooftop white as part of the NYC CoolRoofs project. Photo Credit: Robert Schneck Jr


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