We live in a nation where over two million members of our communities are currently behind bars. Our country houses 22 percent of the world’s prison population--the highest incarceration rate in the world. The disproportionate impact of our criminal justice system on communities of color is staggering; Black and Hispanic individuals are up to 5 times more likely to be incarcerated than their White counterparts. And formerly-incarcerated individuals face sometimes insurmountable challenges completing education, gaining employment, and accessing scores of other rights and privileges.
The past year has been one of growth for our work with the re-entry population. We launched our first in-house correctional training program with the Madera County Department of Corrections, launched new partnerships with re-entry job training organizations, and hosted a forum for employers on breaking barriers to employment for the formerly incarcerated. Stories of real impact bring us hope, like that of Sequarier McCoy, and a group of Lutheran Social Services trainees who are breaking re-entry barriers and forging brand new pathways for themselves through solar.
Returning citizens are an integral part of our communities, neighborhoods and families. Let us continue to build a truly equitable solar industry -- one that affords real opportunity to everyone
Tim Sears and Erica Mackie
GRID Alternatives Co-Founders