Department of Energy: DOE Awards $3.6 Million to Promote Equity And Diversity in Clean Energy Innovation

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded $3.6 million to 18 groups and organizations through the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize — a first-of-its-kind competition designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in federal climate and energy technology funding. The selected projects are helping develop the next wave of diverse clean energy business owners, executives and workforce that are creating bottom-up solutions for sustainable development. The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 initiative to put environmental and economic justice at the center of America’s transition to a net-zero economy by 2050. 

“Delivering an equitable clean energy transition means we … Read More >>

HACU: HACU receives grant from Southern Company Gas Foundation 

HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores attended the Hispanics in Energy 2022 Energy Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., on May 19, 2022, to participate in the session, “Hispanic Energy Jobs: Increasing Innovation and Employment in the Renewable/Clean Energy Sector.” Panelists discussed STEM education pathways for Hispanics, as well as their representation in the occupational and technical workforce 

HACU also received a special recognition at the Summit. The Southern Company Gas Foundation presented HACU with a $45,000 grant.

“HACU thanks the Southern Company Gas Foundation for the recognition of our Associations’ work with a grant award,” said Flores. This donation … Read More >>

KOAA: New free program offers STEM opportunity to minority kids

by Mayo Davison

A new summer outreach program aims to get more minority students in STEM.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs plans to invite 24 high schoolers to campus for their free UCCS Stem Outreach Program. From July 18–20, students will be able to experience collegiate-level labs in chemistry, biology, biochemistry and human anatomy.

The UCCS Stem Outreach Program was created by undergraduate student Madison Fox.

“I started this program because I was so inspired by many of my classmates and my dad. He came from impoverished places in Colorado Springs, and became a dentist. He had a complicated … Read More >>

WFAE: At a North Carolina energy conference, there are calls for climate equity

Policymakers along with business and nonprofit leaders are in Raleigh this week for a conference on North Carolina’s transition to clean energy. While technology and policy are key themes, some speakers want to make sure people of color and low-income residents are not left out.

The two-day State Energy Conference at N.C. State University has sessions on solar and wind power, electric vehicles and how Duke Energy and regulators are drafting plans to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

But one panel focused on the risk that current energy reforms will bring new social inequities. Climate justice activist William Barber … Read More >>

WBNS-CBS: City leaders announce new program to boost hiring in the clean-energy sector

by Emily Oliver

COLUMBUS, Ohio — City leaders announced a new jobs program on Thursday aimed at connecting Columbus residents with training and experience in the clean-energy sector. 

The Empowered! program will recruit residents ages 18-24 from communities of color and women in areas throughout the city deemed “opportunity zones.” The program aims to provide participants with the skills necessary to help them pursue careers in the clean-energy sector.

“Addressing climate change is about more than reducing carbon emissions,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther. “It is also about expanding opportunity, promoting upward mobility and elevating quality of life.” 

In order to … Read More >>

The Oregonian: BIPOC environmental groups in Oregon chart a different path as Earth Day approaches

by Kale Williams

As a child growing up in rural Oregon, Vanessa Grant Coats loved the outdoors. Exploring the wild areas of the state with her family — camping, hiking and fishing — are some of her favorite memories and led to dreams of becoming a marine biologist.

But as a Black kid romping around a mostly white state, she rarely saw people who looked like her enjoying the same outdoor activities.

“I didn’t always feel like I belonged,” Grant Coats told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “I never saw anyone who looked like me as a marine biologist. I never saw them … Read More >>

Public Source: Green energy could be the future. What’s being done to increase workforce diversity in Pittsburgh?

by Matt Petras

Martin Rafanan, a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church minister, spent decades as an organizer of primarily Black low-wage workers in the St. Louis area. After moving to the Hill District in 2018, Rafanan’s attention remained focused on social justice. 

“During most of my work, I haven’t been paying as much attention to the environment as I think probably I should have,” Rafanan said. “So over the past couple years, been doing a little more to learn more, be educated and to kind of take small steps in the neighborhood.” 

These small steps include Rafanan and his wife shepherding … Read More >>

Energy Network News: New case study, federal assistance boost ‘smart neighborhood’ concept in Highland Park

Juan Shannon’s vision of a sustainable neighborhood in Highland Park got two boosts in recent weeks.

In partnership with the Union of Concerned Scientists, Shannon’s Parker Village recently released a case study detailing the feasibility of using a microgrid to power its community. The report came just before last week’s announcement that the city will receive federal assistance to support community-based clean energy projects. 

The study, Designing a Neighborhood Microgrid, builds on Shannon’s vision of Parker Village as a sustainable “smart neighborhood” powered by an independently run local energy grid reliant on renewable energy. The microgrid would power net-zero energy … Read More >>

Black Enterprise: Bank of America honors five leaders creating change for people and communities of color

Bank of America announced the inaugural honorees of its Neighborhood Builders: Racial Equality Award, a new recognition that honors individual leaders who are advancing racial equality and economic opportunity in Black, Hispanic-Latino, Asian American, and Native American communities.

According to a release, the five honorees are being recognized for their extraordinary contributions to break down systemic racial barriers and create opportunities for people of color across the country.

“Through this program, we are recognizing the impact of inspiring leaders in our country who are creating real change,” said D. Steve Boland, chief administrative officer at Bank of America.

“Supporting … Read More >>

ABC 10: People of color hit hardest by inflation, gas prices

by Kandace Redd

Gas prices in the U.S. spiked long before Russia invaded Ukraine. But, the price at the pump has spiraled even faster since the start of the war.

According to AAA, the national gas price average stood at $4.32 on Monday. California is leading the nation with the highest gas price, averaging $5.74. Gas prices tend to be higher in California than other states. That’s, partially, due to higher taxes for infrastructure and environmental fees. 

As gas prices continue to climb, many people, particularly in historically marginalized communities, are trying figure out how to make ends meet. … Read More >>