Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Environmental Justice movement is created by individuals and organizations who seek to raise the voices of the communities who are most-impacted by environmental problems. Here in Washington, the following groups and collaborations are raising the voices of and shining light on those who are most impacted in an effort to bring about Equity and Inclusion.

News, Events & Activities

SW Board Member Jack Newman Speaks at Meeting on Community Engagement in Energy Democracy (April 25, 2019)
Representatives from companies, government agencies and advocacy organizations met on Thursday, April 25 at the Centilia Cultural Center in Seattle to continue the conversation around building the movement for energy democracy. Click to read more

From the NW Energy Coalition (March 4, 2019)
Inequities in the energy system: new white paper explores issues and opportunities. Link to release.


Solar with Justice: Strategies for Powering Up Under-Resourced Communities and Growing an Inclusive Solar Market.
This report, “Solar with Justice: Strategies for Powering Up Under-Resourced Communities and Growing an Inclusive Solar Market,” aims to accelerate the implementation of solar in under-resourced communities in ways that provide meaningful, long-lasting benefits to those communities. Click for more information.

The Solar Foundation, with the assistance of the Northwest Energy Coalition and Energy Trust of Oregon, has issued the Oregon and Washington Solar Workforce Diversity Report which evaluates the workforce pipeline for the solar industry in Oregon and Washington, and specifically the practices surrounding diversity and inclusion, hiring, and training. Click to view the report

The U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study 2019, by the Solar Foundation, is an in-depth look at diversity, inclusion, and equity in the solar industry. It includes new data on wages, advancement, and career pathways for women and people of color. This study was released by The Solar Foundation in partnership with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). It looks at diversity and inclusion strategies now in place at solar firms, and it identifies ways the industry can improve. Click to view the report.

The Northwest Energy Coalition recently came out with a list of recommendations to promote diversity in the solar workforce. Click to view.

Front and Centered is a coalition of more than 60 organizations in Washington state at the frontline of environmental crisis and the center of change. Rooted in communities of color, Front and Centered conducts participatory research, develops policies and organizes to center equity and people of color in the environmental movement.

Puget Sound Sage is on the forefront of driving some of the nation’s most dynamic policies for climate, economic, and racial justice. Puget Sound Sage’s mission is to combine research, innovative public policy and organizing to ensure all people have an affordable place to live, a good job, a clean environment, and access to public transportation. Puget Sound Sage advocates for policy that makes racial and social equity a top goal for decision makers at all levels of government.

Got Green is a people of color-led environmental justice organization in South Seattle working to ensure the benefits of the green economy—green jobs, access to healthy food, green healthy homes, and public transit—reach low-income communities and communities of color.

Solar Plus is a regional effort led by a broad coalition of stakeholders that are working towards tripling the amount of solar energy installed in Washington and Oregon by 2019. Solar Plus envisions a future where the benefits of solar energy are equitably expanded to all including renters, households with low incomes, communities of color and all ratepayers.

Emerald Cities Collaborative is a national nonprofit network of organizations working together to advance a sustainable environment while creating high-road -- sustainable, just and inclusive -- economies with opportunities for all. ECC develops energy, green infrastructure and other sustainable development projects that not only contribute to the resilience of our metropolitan regions but also ensure an equity stake for low-income communities of color in the green economy. This includes developing the economic infrastructure for family-supporting wages and career paths for residents of such communities, as well as contracting opportunities for women, minority and other disadvantaged businesses.

WA Environmental Health Disparities Map is an interactive map of Washington created by a collaboration of Dept of Ecology and Dept of Health to identify numerous environmental and human health disparities and rank them according to severity. The map displays impacts and disparities neighborhood by neighborhood related to diesel pollution, social vulnerability to hazards, lead exposure, affordable housing, transportation access and a wide variety of other impacts, with more to be added in the future.

Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions is a book edited by Denise Fairchild and Al Weinrub. The concept of Energy Democracy is the focus of an online webinar, sponsored by Island Press and moderated by Denise Fairchild. It describes on how the energy democracy movement goes beyond technological solutions to address the legacy of social and racial injustice in the fossil fuel industry and features book contributors Ashura Lewis and Vivian Yi Huang.

Washington State Budget & Policy Center works with partners and grassroots coalitions to advance budget and tax policies that lift up families with low and moderate incomes, eliminate disparities based on race, and create shared prosperity for all Washingtonians. The Center puts equity at the forefront and believes equity is achieved when a Washingtonian’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ability, immigration status, language ability, or neighborhood of residence does not determine their health, income, wealth, educational attainment, or access to opportunity.

Diversity in Clean Energy (DICE) is a student-led organization focused on diversity and equal opportunity in clean tech. DICE facilitates connections between students and professionals in cleantech by holding EnergyHour meetings with industry speakers once a month and by hosting career talks over coffee with Clean Energy Institute seminar speakers. Sign up for the list-serv for meeting announcements and events notifications.

Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) is an annual event that convenes and empowers stakeholders at the intersection of equity and sustainability working to equity, diversity and inclusion through thematic elements, speakers and attendees. As political, social and environmental issues become more complex, WOHESC examines systemic change and generates dialogue that guides and inspires action.

The World Institute on Disability (WID) is a nonprofit that works to fully integrate people with disabilities into the communities around them via research, policy, and consulting. Climate change is arguably the largest danger humanity has ever faced, and people with disabilities are especially vulnerable to its effects. When storms hit, we have great difficulty evacuating and staying safe. During heat waves, we may have a harder time staying cool. And when people escape flooding shorelines, it will be difficult to find accessible transportation. These are just a few of the many dangers facing people with disabilities–and they must be addressed right away. WID understands that climate change and disasters have stunning effects on the world’s disability population, and is proactive with training, education, and preparation.

Center for Social Inclusion offers a powerful definition of Energy Democracy and spotlights over 100 community-scale renewable energy projects created by and grounded in local communities of color across the USA.

Energy Justice is the grassroots energy agenda, supporting communities threatened by polluting energy and waste technologies. Taking direction from our grassroots base and the Principles of Environmental Justice, we advocate a clean energy, zero-emission, zero-waste future for all. Energy Justice advocates a complete phase-out of nuclear power and fossil fuels, and prevention of new large hydroelectric dams and "biomass" or other incinerators.

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