Environmental Justice

A self-proclaimed nerd, avid reader, and documentary enthusiast growing up, Cureton found inspiration in the pages of inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla’s autobiography. Despite being born worlds away from Tesla—Black and in the home of Black Wall Street—he related to Tesla’s innovative ideas and that he did not fit in with the norm. “A lot of my interests weren’t really mainstream,” Cureton says.

A 2019 energy use study found that the city of Thornton and the community as a whole spent $89 million on energy bills in 2018. Representatives from Thornton, Adams 12 Five Star School District, United Power, and GRID Alternatives worked in collaboration to define the energy vision, goals and strategies that are customized for Thornton’s community values.

By following a plan, Thornton aims to save more than two-million kWh of electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 27,000 conventional vehicles off the road by 2022

GRID Alternatives is at the forefront of building stronger communities by continuing its mission to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities worldwide. We are in a pivotal time right now, and in order to rebuild and sustain solar jobs post Covid-19, we need to align with environmental advocates and push for legislation to strengthen our economy and establish policy that will be critical to the continued success of GRID’s mission.

What’s clear is that the climate crisis and racism are parts of a larger picture that has prevented us from evolving in the ways we think about energy. We’ve needed to take collective action to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for a long time, and, without it, there have been catastrophic human consequences, especially for communities of color around the world.

Making clean energy equitable is critical for racial justice and racial justice is critical to building sustainable, resilient communities. As we continue to advance our mission of clean energy for all, we are doing internal work as an organization and as individuals to be actively anti-racist.