Staff Spotlight: Meet James Cunningham!

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October 23, 2018

James sitting in an electric vehicle.

 

Preferred pronouns?

he/him

How did you come to GRID?

I had worked with Sungevity for several years and was looking for a change. I wanted to stay in solar and came across a position with GRID. GRID’s mission and values aligned with things I was passionate about in my personal life. I got lucky to land here!

What GRID Value most resonates with you?

Equity - This is what drew me to GRID. The environmental justice aspect is a major issue that we need to address in the climate change conversation. Equity is relevant from a global scale all the way down to local issues. We’re seeing a lot of these issues play out now with water wars, deforestation, and local pollution disproportionately impacting disadvantaged communities. The perspective that I bring into my work is making sure that everyone has the opportunity to live in a healthy environment. I think that equity is the right lens to approach these environmental issues with - they cannot be separated from historical injustices.  For example, we need to address the impact that the legacy of colonization has on our society and recognize that indigenous people and their voices need to be represented in these conversations around equity and environmental issues. Equity is about resolving these past injustices fully.

Favorite GRID moment?

Going on installs! Last year, I went on on install with the North Coast team to install for the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians in Point Arena. It was my first install and it was great to get hands on experience, not to mention the location was beautiful.

Tell us what most excites you about GRID's growing EV work?

Our EV work is exciting in a lot of ways! In light of the recent IPCC report, we have 12 years to drastically reduce our impact on the environment. It specifically cited electrifying transportation as a major step that we need to take to reach our goal. Even though California is ahead in  environmental efforts and reducing carbon emissions, we need to drive it forward at an exponential rate. I’m excited and privileged to be working in a field that is directly addressing one of the largest and most urgent issues that humanity is facing. We have a concrete path forward and there is work to be done. I’m excited to be playing my part in this effort but also to be working with others towards a greater goal. No one person can do this alone - it takes a societal shift. We need to work together to spread the word and have conversations with people about the environmental issues that we are facing.

Fun fact about you?

I’m a huge Warriors fan and I watch every game. They embody team work done right and it’s inspiring to watch them play together so harmoniously.