Black History is Human History


February 25, 2019
Clovis poses next to a GRID volunteer in "Energy for All"

Clovis Honoré wears many hats: Minister, GRID Alternatives Outreach Coordinator, and now President of the NAACP San Diego. We sat down to talk with him about Black History Month and how he gives back through his roles at GRID and the NAACP.

How did you come to GRID Alternatives?
After 15 years doing community organizing for San Diego social justice nonprofits, the company I was working for shut down and I was unemployed. Fortunately, a friend of mine was working for GRID and they were looking for someone with my skill set and knowledge of the community outreach. I applied and was blessed to be hired.

What do you enjoy most about your roles at GRID and at the NAACP?
What I like most about my role at GRID is the opportunity to share with people the understanding that social justice includes environmental justice. Whether it is families, community members, leaders and organizations, businesses, or governments, the work I do lets me remind everyone that justice and equity are part of everything we do in life. What I like most about volunteering at the NAACP is the chance to move the needle on justice in all of its facets. Working with likeminded people who believe in justice and are willing to sacrifice time, talent and energy to help all kinds of people become whole and achieve equity in civil rights and justice is the greatest reward, especially for my children and grandchildren.

What do you think about when you hear "Black History Month"?
When I hear “Black History Month,” I think about Black people, African-Americans, and the fact that “Black” history is human history. We are all one family, and it all started with Black Africans. Understanding justice and how to take care of the environment is rooted in understanding this history. We can learn from Black history how Africans cared for the planet for tens of thousands of years, living in harmony with their environment. Black history can return us to ourselves.

Clovis sits on a TV set, being interviewed in front of a blue background
Clovis is interviewed by Kusi News about his new NAACP role
Is there a black person from history and/or from today who inspires you? Why?
My greatest inspirations are my children and my grandchildren, because they will reap the benefits and consequences of whatever we do or fail to do. They inspire me to do the best I can to leave them both the personal and global resources they will need to make sure they have the same and better opportunities to pass on.

What is the a connection between your work at GRID and NAACP?  
Both the NAACP and GRID are social justice organizations, so there is a natural match. The National NAACP has an Environmental and Climate Justice Program has a Solar Equity Initiative.  GRID has already installed solar systems through this initiative on a non-profit facility in Los Angeles and a GRID-qualified home in San Diego, working with members of the NAACP. My hope is to advance and expand the relationship between GRID and the NAACP to provide dedicated funding for more projects like these.

Anything else you want to add?
GRID has an internal initiative that includes “Equity.”  Equity must include a reckoning with history. It must consider that there must be restitution, in the present and future, of that which was taken away in the past.  Only then can a person or community be made whole. Peace.