Written by From Staff Reports May 5, 2013 3:25 PM
GRAMBLING- Students and faculty gathered at the Favrot Student Union Wednesday as the winner of The Toyota Green Initiative was announced. Corban Bell, graduating senior, was selected as The Toyota Green Initiative grand prize winner.
“Toyota Green Initiative (TGI) is excited to have Corban Bell of Grambling State University as the winner of this year’s Green Campus Contest,” states Jim Colon, Vice President of Toyota Product Communications for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
The Toyota Green Initiative is an environmental stewardship platform, which is designed to empower people to have a sustainable lifestyle, according to their site. Bell competed with an essay that consisted of a campus proposal and an online vote as the automobile maker works with HBCUs and the TGI Coalition.
The coalition is a group of environment experts and celebrities who discuss in detail the impact of sustainability within the African American community, in addition to ways to green and persuade African Americans to “think green.”
Coalition members include environmental advocates Earthseed, Black and Green author Jamal Ali, SMB Essentials CEO Lake Louise, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) executive Thornell Cheeks, TGI Campus Contest winner Stephen Graddick, celebrity actor Lance Gross, celebrity actress Tatyana Ali, and R&B singer/songwriter/producer Raphael Saadiq.
“Bell’s essay on implementing a permanent campus-wide recycling program and establishing sustainability initiatives at Grambling – such as renovating greenhouses and reviving its compost program – displayed ambition in improving the environmental culture at his school, an action encouraged by Toyota Green Initiative,” Colon said.
Essays written by the two finalists – Bell and Domenio Smith of Howard University – were posted on ToyotaGreen.com so votes could be cast for a favorite. Bell’s essay (http://www.toyotagreen.com/contests/green-campus-entry/Corban-Bell-6a8yzop5qfc4) received almost 1,300 votes.
All semifinalists are to receive $500 to implement their program along with a mentorship from the TGI Coalition and accreditation for their work on their TGI program. Bell was awarded a 2013 Toyota Prius as the grand prize winner. In addition, the university gets $5,000 to buy trees in an effort to beautify the campus.