On June 19, 2020, Groundswell will host a Juneteenth celebration to kick off our bi-weekly Prepare for Power concert series. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S., and it is an important day to celebrate freedom while making room for new leaders to cast their vision and carry the future forward.
What you do is who you are. I believe that is particularly true in this moment. We lament the murders of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. We cry out together in solidarity for restorative justice. But what are we going to do, individually and corporately, to dismantle more than four hundred years of systems upon systems that have deeply institutionalized racism in this country? We can say that black lives matter, but until black lives matter is true of the lived experience of every American, there’s urgent work to do.
Groundswell champions the value of transformation – deeply understanding the systems and constraints of “what is” in order to move toward “what should be.” We work with communities across the country, listening and walking beside our neighbors from many different backgrounds and income levels to hear and empower our partner communities in shaping a shared energy future. This takes a lot of work and much more time than imposing an existing system “from the top.”
This year, the Discalced Carmelite Friars of Washington, D.C., and Groundswell will continue to follow Jesus’ call to love our neighbors through the benefits created by the recently energized solar project at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Earth Day invites us all to recommit ourselves to protecting the earth because of all the ways in which the health and quality of our lives and the lives of generations to come are bound up in the health of our planet. Committing yourself to protecting something (or someone) takes love, understanding, and an appreciation for its value. So how do we begin to love and appreciate the earth?
I watched the clean energy movement fall short in 2009 as climate policy failed to pass in the US Senate by one vote. One vote! I will never forget that feeling of disappointment and frustration. Eager to organize to push this movement forward, I joined the Groundswell team in August of 2010.
Seven Free Community Solar Subscriptions Now Available, Applications due by April 9
Systems produce outcomes according to the values on which they’re founded, so Groundswell has been very deliberate about defining and sharing the values that guide us daily in our work. Kristal Knowles, Groundswell’s Director of Operations and Customer Support and the heart and soul of our team, has led us through this effort. Last week, Groundswell’s Statement of Values was unanimously adopted by our full Board and every person on our staff team.