Systems produce outcomes according to the values on which they’re founded. So, if you want to transform the outcomes or change the system, you’ve got to go deep to its roots and transform the values that define it. This same thought has been expressed many different ways over the ages. If you grew up in Sunday School like me, you might have learned it as “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power, and The Solutions Project, which supports climate changemakers at the grassroots, are joining forces to develop a new program to connect corporate climate offset investments with renewable and regenerative projects serving frontline communities.
In June, Groundswell was awarded a $300,000 grant by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to design up to 30 resiliency hubs throughout Baltimore’s most climate vulnerable communities. These funds will make it possible for Groundswell to find out where it is feasible to install Resiliency Hubs in the Baltimore community — in terms of both architectural opportunities and potential host site locations.
As sections of the country begin to slowly reopen, allowing most to return to work, the Coronavirus moves from the limelight to back burner. It is indisputable that COVID-19 has changed home, work, and community life. Simple things like meeting friends for dinner are no longer simple. While this is happening, job insecurity and job loss is increasing across the country . Society is changing. And for organizations seeking to work with communities most affected by COVID-19, we can no longer operate business as usual. We must study and monitor this change to better serve our customers, to stay attuned to people’s needs as needs change in a shifting environment. As a result, surveying customers and determining what their needs are is paramount in maintaining quality service during and following this pandemic.
Supporting each other is one of Groundswell’s founding principles. This — and our commitment to providing a model that truly empowers our subscribers and their communities — is why we’ve taken a small step back from our usual social media and marketing efforts to introduce a new concert series at Groundswell called Prepare for Power. Through art, fresh perspectives, and performances by up and coming performers from across the country, we hope that we can transport you beyond the news of the day and into a space where you feel supported, inspired, and hopeful.
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?
Today is Giving Tuesday, and as millions of Americans donate to their favorite NGO’s, we want to re-introduce how Groundswell is using our Share Power™ Community Solar program to bring affordable clean energy to people across the district and show how you can join us.
On Monday October 21, 2019, Groundswell hosted a blessing event to celebrate the completion of our 151 kilowatt community solar project located at the Monastery of Washington Province of Friars of the Discalced Carmelite. The project was born out of the Discalced Carmelite Friars desire to establish a greater connection with the community surrounding the monastery and make a positive contribution to it as part of their mission of service. The event also served as the official launch of Groundswell’s Share Power™ Community Solar Program.
The DOE awarded Groundswell and its partners Elevate Energy, Southface, and Clean Energy Works funds for a research collaboration. The project, called Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere or “LIFT Solar Everywhere” will determine the optimal financing and program elements (customer experience factors) that community solar projects need to best serve every member of our communities, and especially our energy burdened neighbors. LIFT will use data from energy efficiency, solar and community solar programs nationwide to analyze how best to serve low-income families.
Groundswell recently collaborated with the Solutions Project, a nonprofit that funds renewable energy projects that build public will and interest, to install a solar Smartflower at the LaGrange Housing Authority (LHA). A first of its kind in area, the Smartflower will produce energy that will help reduce the monthly utility bill of LHA’s administrative office. Those savings will then be earmarked to fund future, youth afterschool programming and education.