This is Part 7 in an 8-Part “Giving Thanks” series, a Global Exchange exclusive highlighting individuals (chosen by Global Exchange staff members) who are contributing to our social justice work in some way. This series will culminate with a “Giving Thanks” video to be launched right here on Wednesday, November 24th. So please join us in recognizing those special individuals who are helping to make this world a better place.

Global Exchange proudly honored Van Jones earlier this year as the Domestic Honoree during our annual Human Rights Awards. Here Global Exchange and Green Festivals Co-Founder Kevin Danaher takes the opportunity to personally thank Van for his contributions to the green movement:

I am thankful that I have been lucky enough to know Van Jones —as a mentor, colleague and friend—because Van has done SO MUCH to combine the struggle against inequality with the environmental struggle to create a nature friendly economy model. If we had a few thousand Solutionaries like Van, the transition to sustainability would have already taken place.

Van Jones and Kevin Danaher at Global Exchange 2010 Human Rights Awards gala.

Van Jones has been a pioneer in many areas. He was one of the first courageous leaders to call attention to police violence in poor neighborhoods, and he connected it to the violence of US foreign policy in many parts of the world. He has been one of the most articulate spokespeople linking the need for jobs in the inner city with the need to save our environment from the destructive effects of profit-oriented policies.

His path-breaking book The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems —the first by an African-American environmentalist to make the New York Times Best Seller list—made irrefutable arguments for linking green job creation with the need for more racial equality in our society. While a member of the Obama White House Van pushed the bureaucracies to put more money into green job creation. And now he continues that work, inspiring action for social justice everywhere he goes.

Thank You Van Jones!

If you want to keep up to date about Van and Kevin, here’s how:

Follow Van Jones on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow Kevin Danaher on Twitter and Facebook.

Who are YOU thankful for? Add your own thank you message in the Comments section to recognize someone you think is doing great social justice work. And if you feel so inspired, Retweet and Share this post to help spread the recognition all of our ‘Thankees’ deserve. Thank YOU.