WASHINGTON, D.C. — Energy equity nonprofit Groundswell announced today that Washington, DC area pastor Danté Overture King, a beloved community leader, is joining its leadership team as Director of Community Engagement. Well recognized in the State of Maryland for his pioneering work, King is founder and senior pastor of Forward Church, and founder of D. King Ministries, which provides training and educational resources and college scholarships to high school seniors.

“Pastor King has an extraordinary gift for reaching people with both his words and his works. We are honored to have him at Groundswell,” said Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore. “Pastor King is in a unique position to make sure the working families who need it most have equal access to affordable energy to put money back in their pockets and help them on the path to economic stability. His talent, experience and commitment to community development will be a true asset in our mission to reach the millions of American families who face the unacceptable choice between putting food on the table or keeping the lights on.”

A native Washingtonian, King is known nationwide as a premier preacher, drawing thousands at a time to worship at his churches. What many of his parishioners may not know is that as a former welder and a ten-year veteran of nuclear and coal plants, he is a passionate advocate for renewable energy.

“Dirty energy is polluting the Earth God gave us, and I saw firsthand how its toxins affected the health and lives of my former coal plant colleagues. Groundswell is creating opportunities to bring renewable energy to our communities that have been shut out of its benefits for too long,” said King.  “All families deserve the same chances to get ahead, whether through access to education, to career opportunities, or to affordable and clean energy. I’m looking forward to working with Groundswell to build stronger communities.”

King’s passion for community development aligns with Groundswell’s work to address the critical link between energy bills and economic security.  An estimated 16 million Americans pay more than 10% of their total income on utility bills, more than four times higher than the average consumer, bearing out a long term trend of increasing energy cost burdens for working families.

Resources that can bring down energy bills -- such as community solar arrays and energy efficiency upgrades -- are often out of reach for working families because of financing or other barriers that can be overcome through simple policy changes and better community engagement. Increased solar adoption for all moderate and low income families could collectively save these households over $17 billion annually.

As Director of Community Engagement for Groundswell, King will use his reach to connect working families to energy efficiency programs and renewable energy in their communities, including the new renewable energy opportunities that Groundswell is creating.

Among its initiatives, Groundswell announced earlier this year a new model for financing community solar projects that takes credit scores off the table as an obstacle to joining the clean energy economy.

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ABOUT GROUNDSWELL

Groundswell is a nonprofit organization that builds community power by organizing individual purchases into collective economic power, transforming consumer engagement into civic engagement, and driving market transformation for social good. Groundswell focuses on economic equity and the energy sector—operating clean energy, community solar, and efficiency programs throughout the Mid-Atlantic that educate, engage, and mobilize economically diverse households and businesses.