I grew up in Kentucky, in a state scarred by mountaintop removal and a neighborhood teetering on the edge of poverty. As a child, I learned that social and environmental issues are connected. When I learned about climate change in college, I realized it was one of the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, and it intersects with nearly every other global issue we face. Rather than shying away from the immensity of climate change, I decided to dedicate my career to fighting it.
I am driven to act by the example of relentless problem-solvers like my mother and the power I’ve seen from a diverse climate movement. I have spent the past decade educating people about climate change science, impacts and solutions. Before co-founding All In Energy, I was National Program Director at the Alliance for Climate Education, where I led teams to educate over 260,000 high school youth about climate change and trained nearly 500 youth climate activists. Throughout my career, I’ve been frustrated by the disparities in resources and opportunities for action between lower income communities and their wealthy neighbors.
I co-founded All In Energy to change this and ensure that all communities benefit from our transition to a clean energy economy.
All In Energy enables underserved residents (historically renters, low-to-moderate income households, people who speak languages other than English, and people of color) to sign up for publicly-funded energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that make their homes more comfortable and sustainable. We also serve as a talent pipeline, expanding clean energy job opportunities for diverse candidates. We build partnerships with local institutions and do community outreach campaigns to build trust and connect with residents. We then help families navigate the complex web of incentives to make energy efficiency and renewable energy affordable. Our human-centered approach creates jobs. We hire people into our outreach roles who speak multiple languages and have the cultural competency to reach residents who have previously been underserved. Through their work with us, our staff gain the skills for customer-facing roles in the clean energy industry. We leverage our relationships with clean energy companies to find next-step roles for our staff. By diversifying the industry, we can improve its ability to serve everyone.
Massachusetts has the nation's leading energy efficiency program, which we all pay for on our utility bills. But research shows that wealthier whiter communities are accessing this program, while lower income communities with more renters, immigrants and people of color are underserved. This is also the case for renewable energy across the country. Moreover, members of underserved communities have lacked access to the training, experience and connections needed to obtain clean energy jobs.
All In Energy launched its pilot program in Codman Square, Dorchester, MA in partnership with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation in July 2018. Since then, we have educated nearly 700 residents about MA energy efficiency programs and have scheduled over 170 no-cost home energy assessments for homeowners and landlords. We have referred nearly 100 residents to energy efficiency services for low-income eligible residents. We have begun to expand our efforts across Dorchester and into neighboring Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Mattapan. In addition, we have employed 9 seasonal, paid college-age interns in outreach and marketing roles and one full-time clean energy organizer. Most of our interns are heading back to school, but three of them have secured their next internship in clean energy companies. This year, we will be expanding to one additional city and are adding the capacity to serve renters in partnership with home performance contractor Neeeco.