At Vote Solar, we believe deeply in the power of sunshine to help build a world where each and every person has the opportunity to thrive.
In that spirit, we were honored to spend this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday helping turn that vision to action by partnering with the NAACP on a new Solar Equity Initiative that will connect communities of color and low-income communities across the nation with clean, affordable solar energy and job training.
The initiative was launched in conjunction with the NAACP's Image Awards and the MLK Day of Service with the installation of a solar energy system at The Jenesse Center in Los Angeles, a nationally recognized non-profit domestic violence intervention organization.
“Underserved communities cannot be left behind in a clean energy transition,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “Clean energy is a fundamental civil right which must be available to all, within the framework of a just transition. The NAACP Image Awards is about celebration and service, and the Solar Equity Initiative is a very fitting addition to the weekend.”
This kick-off project provided hands-on job training to Jenesse Center clients to advance the organization's mission of fostering financial independence among domestic violence survivors - and will save the community center nearly $50,000 over its lifetime, dollars that can now be invested in critical programming rather than energy bills. This project and the broader NAACP Solar Equity Initiative show us the power of solar energy as a tool for advancing social, economic and environmental justice in communities nationwide.
We celebrate this clean energy vision and the community leaders all across this country who are working on the frontlines for progress - and whose leadership we need now more than ever.
Thanks to the NAACP and the incredible partners at GRID Alternatives, Sunrun, Jinko Solar, SEIA and the United Methodist Women for making this project a reality. And special thanks to Jacqui Patterson and Kathy Egland at NAACP who are the driving forces behind the Initiative and inspire our work in so many ways.