Good White People

This is an interesting short film about the Over the Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. When considering policy, investment and real estate, we must think through the consequences and impact of our decisions.

Are we displacing successful communities to “improve” areas?

Is that really improvement?

Teaching Students How to Revitalize Their Communities

When we work in communities, we always strive to help build the capacity of local community leaders. Whether that’s through connecting them with resources we know about, or introducing them to other community partners, or transferring skills, our goal is to help communities grow strong and resilient. the foundation of that growth is local community leadership.

Yes! Magazine highlighted a fascinating non-profit, Community Learning Partnership, that is creating college programs that couples classroom work with hands on experience as change agents in their community. CLP provides students, instructors, and community groups a model for preparing local leaders and activists. These college programs “offer fledgling community organizers ‘a sense of optimism about how they can effect change in their own backyard.'”

Programs like CLP are expanding the role of college in communities and building leadership capacity as well. Read more about this fantastic work in Yes! Magazine’s article Where They Teach Students How to Revitalize Their Local Communities. 

Sharing the Benefits of Solar in DC: Georgetown University

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first project through the Neighborhood Solar Equity initiative. We have partnered with community centered solar developer, Community Renewable Energy to install 1.1 mW on Georgetown’s campus, making it one of the largest on site solar arrays in Washington, D.C.

Through an innovative project model the system will produce renewable energy for the University and amplify the benefits of solar for the District of Columbia.

We created the model to serve the energy needs of the University, while also ensuring the surrounding neighborhoods benefit from the renewable energy. Profits from the system have been dedicated by the partners toward reinvestment in DC neighborhoods, including through a “Community Investment Fund” which, in collaboration with Georgetown University, will support clean energy projects in low-income areas of the District.

The project is expected to generate about 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of power each year, contributing to a cleaner electric grid and offsetting an estimated 25,506 US tons of CO2 in it’s lifetime, which is the equivalent of planting 593,300 trees in D.C. Installed at no cost to the university, the project is expected to save the university over $3 million on energy costs over 20 years.  Furthermore, it’s anticipated to catalyze over $1.5 million more in local community investment.

Read more about our Neighborhood Solar Equity initiative, access the Georgetown University Solar- Press Release 4.22.17, or read more from our friends at Georgetown.

 

 

Solar in Schools

Midwest Energy News published an article describing the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation’s effort to integrate renewable energy into classroom curriculum. They are currently providing curriculum, systems and training for 400 classrooms throughout Illinois to encourage the

We love this concept, and are developing similar programs for our own partners. But read on to hear more about how this works in Illinois.

Spoiler alert: the kids love it!

Ellevate Podcast and B Corps

As a women run business, we are big fans of the Ellevate Podcast: Conservations with Women Changing the Face of Business. Ellevate hosts real women having a real impact to discuss the their experiences and takeaways from their careers.

We especially enjoyed this week’s podcast discussing Benefit Corps and their role and mission in the business world: “B Corps, Using the Power of Business to Create Social Change.”

Highly recommend having a listen!

Americans and Climate Change

New data released by the Yale Program on Climate Communication and summarized by Nadia Popovich, John Schwartz and Tatiana Schlossberg in the New York Times gives a detailed view of public opinion on global warming.

Spoiler alert: Americans believe in global warming, but aren’t convinced that it’s their responsibility to worry about.

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To us the most interesting point though is how much support American voters have for renewable energy, and renewable energy research. Eighty two percent of Americans are in favor of funding renewable energy research, 82%!!!! and yet our elected officials are slashing budgets and cutting departments. It begs the question, Why?

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Continue reading

Second Act for America’s Malls

Laura here. There’s a good chance if we chatted in 2016, I brought up grain silos. It was a community development obsession I have, primarily because in Columbus, Ohio we have several unused or underused grain silos, that just look like they are begging to be a canvas for a public art project. (don’t worry grain silos, I’m still thinking about you).

But as the year changed, my obsession grew to a new underused and vacant space adorning the heartland as well as the rest of America: Malls.

Read on after the jump to see more about Malls and ways American’s are creatively reactivating them!  Continue reading

Segregation Had to Be Invented

The Atlantic published an article about the history of segregation in our cities titled Segregation Had to be Invented.

It is especially interesting to us for two reasons:

  1. Powerful people have retained their power by conning  white folks into being hateful towards people of color since the dawn of America.
  2. Sometimes it’s nice to remember that segregation was man made- because that means it can also be man-unmade. (right?)