WASHINGTON, DC — Nationally recognized faith leader Kimberly Lewis, a champion of diversity in the green movement and Senior Vice President, Community Advancement, Conferences & Events at the U.S. Green Building Council, and Raj Krishnamurthy, the co-founder and head of engineering for Automatiks, Inc., have joined Groundswell’s Board of Directors.
Lewis, in addition to being an internationally recognized leader in the sustainability movement having led the development of Greenbuild into the world’s largest sustainability conference, says her vision is to integrate, diversify and globalize the green building community's volunteers, chapters and emerging professionals from around the world. As a minister in the United Church of Jesus Christ and a national convener of the faith community around environmental priorities, she recently helped launch the Green the Black Church movement in partnership with Green For All and is committed to building partnerships that invite more diverse communities into the green building movement.
“This truly is a unique moment,” Lewis said. “For far too long, the conversations about clean energy and sustainability have largely excluded diverse communities, whether that’s racial or economic diversity. That’s why I’m genuinely excited about joining Groundswell as the organization works with communities of color and working families to include and empower them in the clean energy economy.”
Krishnamurthy brings to Groundswell decades of experience developing clean energy storage technologies; his California-based startup has recently worked to deliver hybrid microgrid and off-grid power systems in product form for off-grid and poor grid regions. Today, under Krishnamurthy’s leadership, Automatiks builds hybrid off-grid microgrids that enable adoption of solar and other renewables in remote and island locations where the mainstream model of grid-tied solar isn’t feasible.
Krishnamurthy said he sees Groundswell playing a key role in expanding clean energy access to “all people.” He believes passionately in the role of renewable energy as a means for communities to take back control of their own energy future while embracing sustainable forms of power from sources more closely aligned with the community’s values, such as solar power.
"The sun's energy should benefit everyone. Today's models for owning and using solar energy do not favor those that do not have a roof top and a great credit,” said Krishnamurthy. “Fortunately, we are at a point where the grid needs more renewable power, and growth can only come from enabling people from other brackets to participate in this revolution.”
Both Lewis and Krishnamurthy share Groundswell’s mission to organize community power by bringing clean energy to working families and communities of color.
“America can’t afford for clean energy to be a luxury good like other emerging technologies – it has to work for working families,” commented Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore. “Working families are already paying 10 percent or more to keep the lights on, and communities of color are paying for dirty energy with their health. Kimberly’s movement building experience and roots in the Church and Raj’s extraordinary technical expertise and commitment to clean energy for all will help Groundswell give everyone a seat at the clean energy table, and not leave anyone waiting on the crumbs.”