We caught up with Jasmine Roashan, Outreach Coordinator for GRID Greater Los Angeles (GLA). Follow along as we introduce GRID staff members whose work and influences are driving our vision of a just energy future.
How did you come to GRID?
I came to GRID from a local government agency. I was already working in resource conservation but I really needed a healthier work-life balance - luckily, I heard great things about GRID from a friend and decided to apply. I've been at GRID Greater Los Angeles for about two and a half years now.
What is your favorite part of what you do at GRID?
My favorite part about working at GRID is the one-on-one support I get to provide to my community. When I was previously working in local government, my clients were nameless residents and I couldn't build the kinds of relationships that I can as an Outreach Coordinator at GRID. I am also given the independence to focus on my own communities of interest - including the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) population here.
Who is a current AAPI history-maker that people should know about, or has influenced your work?
I'm lucky to have a network of friends that motivate me to keep doing better. I think I have been reading a lot of books written by AAPI and women of color lately to avoid being quarantined in my own echo-chamber. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a unique story about identity politics, the model minority myth, and understanding. It's incredibly moving; read: absolute tear-jerker. I think this novel is very accessible for those looking to read more AAPI stories. If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar is a book of poems "that captures the experienes of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America." It is an incredibly nuanced collection of poems that encompasses the wide breadth of human experiences. It was very relatable for me, and also an absolute tear-jerker. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong has been on everyone's recommended reading for AAPI Heritage Month for good reason. I think this is a must-read for all BIPOC in modern America.
What’s one thing GRID is working on now that you’re really excited to see happen this year?
Our Green Together Collaborative / TCC Pacoima project in the San Fernando Valley is going to bring a wide scope of sustainability initiatives into a community dealing with very poor air pollution and lack of greenspace. I think it's very exciting for GLA to be involved in the single-family solar piece of this program.
What is your vision for an environmentally just future?
I would LOVE to see a continuation in grassroots movements led by young people of color. As a society, we have held groups/corporations to an increasingly higher standard than ever before; and the pressure being put on by these passionate young people is moving us in the right direction. Young people already see and understand a lot of the problems in our current, unjust institutions; they aren't held back by the notion of "how things have always been." I think they are light-years ahead of my generation.