In the early 1990s, ShaKing Alston was one of five students who helped create a diversity focus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Student Environmental Action Coalition. This resulted in the first hiring of a student to work on diversity and environmental issues on any campus in the country. But ShaKing's leadership in diversifying the environmental movement didn't stop there. He was instrumental in helping to create the first Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival, which to this day brings over 30,000 members of the Southeast Asian community together. He was also a key founding member of the New York Apollo Alliance, which works to advance New York State's clean energy future through renewable resources and green jobs.
As a TogetherGreen Fellow, ShaKing wanted to continue his leadership yet again: this time by developing a training program to help people from underserved communities who are looking for green jobs learn the essentials about carbon footprints and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ShaKing's focus was on helping people obtain green jobs, and making sure that basic conservation principles are not lost as clean energy and energy efficiency-related jobs make it to the local level. A 10-session learning institution explained clean technology and its application to conservation. An interactive website and a blog also allowed ShaKing to offer webinars and provide on-site training sessions with others, reaching a broad and diverse audience. Through ShaKing's hard work, dedication Ñ and, of course, his leadership Ñ people across the nation had the opportunity to take conservation action and join the green job movement.