Groundswell recently welcomed Teara Harris to our team as our new Community Building Associate. Teara brings with her a passion for building up people in traditionally underserved communities. Her vision is to bring about change and unity while connecting people in her community with the resources they need.
This year, it has been clearer than ever just how important our neighbors are to our lives. Many of us have been physically separated from our friends, co-workers, and neighbors for most of the year, which is why we believe that it is more important than ever to support everyone in our community on this Giving Tuesday.
Groundswell stands on its core value of service. We were founded on a vision and mission of building community power through the lens of service. At Groundswell, we believe that service is a privilege, not a chore. It's one of the things we take pride in — putting people first and keeping them at the center of our community solar projects.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a major investment in solar energy with an unprecedented step in its focus on “under-resourced communities, working with local leaders and prioritizing minority and women-owned business.” This is among the early signals of a new movement that is about to grow).
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.
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.”
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?
As people around the world celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11, the team at Groundswell gathered to develop a strategic plan for our very own moonshot, the achievement of community power for all. Groundswell’s annual strategic planning meeting is a chance for our leadership and board members to take a step back from our daily work to consider how far Groundswell has come from our founding a decade ago, reaffirm our vision and goals, and plan for the future.
While I wear many hats as Manager of Business Operations and HR for Groundswell, one role that I am particularly passionate about is centered around Groundswell’s commitment to creating, and maintaining, a culture for our staff that is both inclusive and fosters a sense of belonging.