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The Green Tea - February 2023

February 13, 2023

GFA February Update 2023

Climate equity is about more than just getting green projects to communities that have been the most impacted by climate change; it’s also about to what extent those same communities are integrated into the process.

At Dream.Org, we believe that the only way to build a more equitable, sustainable future is to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table as the green economy grows - especially those who have historically been left out. Whether that’s engaging frontline groups as green projects are deployed or diversifying the talent pipeline for the burgeoning clean energy sector, the Green For All team is working to ensure that everyone benefits from increased health and wealth opportunities.

Taking California’s community-led climate invest program to a national scale

Earlier this month, Dream.Org leaders joined 300 government, community, business, and advocacy leaders at California Strategic Growth Council’s inaugural Catalyst Conference to collaboratively explore ways to maximize climate investments in frontline communities. Dream.Org’s VP of Sustainability and Green For All National Director Jessie Buendia facilitated a panel discussion on implementing Justice40 as historic federal climate investment dollars are rolled out to communities throughout the U.S.

At the conference, the Green For All team announced our new Transformative Communities pilot program which will launch in April 2023. Based off of California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities program. This pilot will leverage public-private partnerships to direct climate investments to communities that need them most, emulating SGC’s Centering Communities in Place-Based Investment model. Dream.Org will be introducing legislation in Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, and North Carolina to replicate the Transformative Climate Communities legislation and work with 10 cities and communities across the U.S. including Fresno, Detroit, Savannah, Denver, and others to get ready to compete for federal Justice40 funding.

Developing diverse talent for lucrative careers in the green sector

Dream.Org is excited to announce the launch of our Green For All Business Council Fellowship Program. Made possible with support from Google.Org and Google Nest, the program is awarding 10 fellowships of $20,000 to professionals who are looking to develop their careers in the clean energy sector. Fellows will receive on-the-job training and have access to mentorship opportunities from one of the seven talented Black and Brown entrepreneurs that make up the Green For All Business Council.

Building on the 2022 Green For All Clean Energy Scholarship Program, the Green For All Business Council Fellowship Program takes investing in diverse talent a step further by providing a full year of experience in a green job. Fellows will be immersed in a minority-owned green business and learn first-hand how to overcome barriers and find solutions that build a more equitable, sustainable future. As a result, the program is helping to develop a more diverse workforce while providing growth opportunities for diverse talent to build on the successes of Green For All Business Council members.

Meet some of the Green For All Business Council Fellows!

Lauren Strickland

Project Manager, CSR, Volt Energy Utility

Lauren Strickland manages Volt Energy Utility corporate social responsibility efforts. She also serves as a liaison with Volt’s business partners on issues of supplier diversity, minority student internships, environmental justice and opportunities of interest with the Sharing the Power Foundation. The Volt-founded foundation is an independently-operated national philanthropic non-profit that advances environmental justice and an inclusive clean energy future through grant making and seeding the next generation of environmental leaders.

Adrian Guzman

Administrative Assistant to the CEO, Gemini Energy Solutions

Adrian is an administrative professional with over a decade of experience who has made the switch to cleantech. In his current role, he is advocating for climate change and helping his employing organization move closer to its sustainability goals. Adrian is a practical and successful risk-taker. He uses unique ways to determine what clients need, has the capability of handling any task sent his way and works with stakeholders. As a rigorous and personable leader, he can grasp ideas in a holistic manner while maintaining focus on minor details.

Christian Sheja

ArcGIS Specialist at Sync Energy AI

Christian Sheja was born and raised in Kigali, Rwanda. He moved to the United States to pursue higher education in sustainability. He holds a Master's degree in Environmental and Energy Policy with a specialization in Geospatial Analytics from Michigan Technological University. He also has a Bachelor's degree in Integrated Science with concentrations in Energy Science, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Currently, Christian is working to defend communities in the US against the negative consequences of climate change as an ArcGIS Specialist at Sync Energy AI. He is also working to transition the US transportation sector to clean energy vehicles as Sr. Project Coordinator responsible for the New Jersey, Vermont, and New York clean vehicle incentive programs.

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