Honoring MLK's legacy with launch of NAACP's Solar Equity Initative

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January 22, 2018

On January 13, we honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with a special project in partnership with the NAACP, installing solar on a transitional housing facility in Los Angeles for domestic violence survivors. The Jenesse Center was founded in 1980 by five African American women, themselves survivors, and provides a range of services to help women and their children reclaim their lives. Several of Jenesse’s clients came out and participated in the installation with us, and we’re currenly working with Jenesse to develop a training partnership for women interested in solar careers.

This special project was born out of the NAACP’s vision for a “Solar Equity Initiative,” a new national partnership with solar and nonprofit groups to drive equitable solar policies and connect communities of color with solar power and solar jobs. The Jenesse project was both the launch of that partenership and the proof of what partners working in concert can accomplish. The installation came together in just three weeks, from the seed of an idea to panels on the roof, with everyone pitching in: module donations from Jinko Solar; financial support from Sunrun, Vote Solar, United Methodist Women and SEIA; volunteers from Jenesse; and a lot of hard work from NAACP leaders and the GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles crew.

When Dr. King gave his “I have a dream” speech in 1963, he invited his country to dream big, to lay out a vision of a just future, and then get to work building it. There’s still so much work to be done to achieve the dream Dr. King laid out that day, but GRID is proud to be doing our small part alongside partners like NAACP, the folks at Jenesse, and all the incredible people and organizations that show up for environmental, social and economic justice for communities of color every day.