In 2018, Americans from all walks of life have come to understand that we can and we must transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. With more than 100 cities and now half a dozen states, including CA, committed to 100% clean energy, the momentum is unstoppable and it’s exciting!
At the same time, our attention is focused on “how” we get to 100% and even more importantly, “who” will benefit from this transition.
Despite their long-term leadership on 100% clean energy, our media analysis finds the voices of those living and working at the frontlines of dirty energy impacts are only beginning to receive recognition for their pivotal and innovative role driving solutions. What’s more, far too few investments are made in frontline organizations to lead this work, let alone tell their stories.
We’ve worked hard to develop strategic partnerships with other funders, nonprofits, and corporations to increase the funding, communications capacity, and influence of frontline leadership.
We hit a milestone of $4 million invested in direct grants to frontline leadership this year, with over half of that going to women and leaders of color. Add about $2M in media supports and another $1M in field building and we know the results delivered by frontline leadership: 100% is not only possible, it is happening in communities all across the country. In return, we are making a 100% Commitment to Justice and will center feminine, frontline leaders of color in this next phase of our impact.
Join us as we look back on 2018 and look forward to the year ahead.
There’s been a global culture shift around clean energy. From increasing political interest from voters; to growing numbers of cities, states, and countries committing to clean energy; to businesses and individuals taking personal and political action; the move to clean energy has serious momentum.
In 2018, Cincinnati, OH became the 100th city in the U.S. to make the 100% commitment. As of this report 123 cities have made commitments with 6 already running on 100% renewable energy.
Via Sierra Club
State-wide commitments are increasing too. Puerto Rico and 5 states have already made the commitment.
The Solutions Project was part of a coalition formed to support former CA state senator and Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon’s effort to pass SB100 — a bill setting California on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2045.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on September 18, 2018, paving the way for 100% clean energy in California.
As cultural support for clean energy grows, the conversation is transforming – from wondering if it’s possible, to knowing it can be done. Voices calling for change are getting louder, and more people are listening.
Momentum is building for 100 percent clean energy across New Hampshire. Concord’s commitment to renewable energy is also a commitment to clean air, economic growth, and a healthy future for our community,Rich Maher Member of the Concord Energy and Environment Committee
Renewable energy is now economically competitive with fossil fuels…Silvio Marcacci and Gil Jenkins Forbes contributors
If Atlanta invests in new clean energy projects—as opposed to buying credits for clean energy generated out of state—it will see more jobs, smaller energy bills and less pollution.Jeremy Deaton EcoWatch
The media narrative has shifted from a general perspective of asking if 100% clean energy is possible, to a perspective focused on discussing how to best get there. In short, the media now understands that it’s possible. It’s just a matter of choosing the best path forward.
Download our report on the media narrative around renewable energy.
The clean energy movement must get behind frontline leaders already doing the work to bring clean energy to their communities. Centering equity in the clean energy movement means making sure that frontline leaders, especially leaders of color and women who are often sidelined or ignored receive the media attention, field recognition and funding for their groundbreaking work.
That’s why The Solutions Project helped amplify the voices of those leaders through convenings and awards. Last year, we celebrated women and women of color who are leading the clean energy transition.
Invest in black women as thought leaders. Invest in black women as strategists.LaTosha Brown Black Voters Matter
With a line-up of women including community organizers, political strategists, and more, the Black Women Leading panel series showcased the solutions already improving communities across America and highlighted progressive Black women leaders who are up against the status quo in the country.
The panels were livestreamed and featured moderators: Golden Globe-winning actor, Don Cheadle, and GLAMOUR magazine’s Christina Coleman.
Our ONE100 awards celebrate people who are at the forefront of our transition to 100% clean energy. In 2018, we chose to honor ten women leaders from Atlanta, Miami, and Oakland, who are making our nation cleaner, healthier, and more equitable through clean energy for all.
We believe that the path to 100% can only be achieved through partnership and connection. We believe in relationship building, trust building, and sharing best practices from frontline communities.
The independent 100% NGO Network, which was co-founded by The Solutions Project, kicked off its frontline field trip series in a three-day event hosted by grantee partner PUSH Buffalo. More than 50 leaders came from across the country, representing other frontline communities, a few national organizations like Emerald Cities Collaborative and Race Forward, and large environmental organizations like Sierra Club, which brought all of its Ready for 100 organizers together to see the innovative clean energy solutions being driven by community members. In addition to sharing best practices and wrestling with key questions, the 100% NGO Network was able to tour PUSH Buffalo’s new community solar and affordable housing development at School 77—the first of its kind of project demonstrating what is possible when we go 100% for all people.
Recognizing that the greatest innovations in an equitable clean energy transition are happening in frontline communities, The Solutions Project partnered with the Nathan Cummings Foundation to convene more than 50 frontline leaders across three workshops on community determined clean energy, narrative strategies, and independent political power.
Emerging from these convengings is not only a closer partnership with frontline organizations but also the development of specific technical tools for implementers, a firmer commitment to invest in local communities, and pathways to influence a broader spectrum of capital and funding for frontline communities.
We’re fortunate to work in deep relationship with leading nonprofits including Sierra Club, People’s Action, and the Climate Justice Alliance. We’ve also partnered with forward thinking corporations Seventh Generation, Marvel, and Patagonia.
These organizations support movement alignment towards an equitable 100% transition.
Milestone achieved: $4,000,000 in grantmaking since we began our program for frontline leadership nearly 4 years ago.
It’s liberating to work with a foundation that invests in and trusts the frontline will deliver. We want to, and know how to, but haven't been supported. We love the culture of best practices for how to support those of us on the frontline.Elizabeth Yeampierre UPROSE, 2018 Grantee
Working with The Solutions Project had a big impact on our ability to get media attention to share our stories and strategize around media.Jessica Azulay New York Energy Democracy Alliance, 2018 Grantee
The amazing core support allowed us to be nimble and in the places we need to be. The comms support around the SB100 coalition helped increase our influence. And the celebrity support was really important and effective with decision makers.Gladys Limon California Environmental Justice Alliance, 2018 Grantee
The Solutions Project’s support with strategic communications, along with general operating support were critical to our success.Tom Goldtooth Indigenous Environmental Network, 2018 Grantee
The financial support has allowed us to do our work and to attract more donors. The funds have helped us double our annual operating impact.Caroline Lewis The CLEO Institute, 2018 Grantee
We distributed $1.3 million to 42 frontline organizations in the U.S., predominantly led by people of color and women.
Investment in community-based orgs that build political, economic, and cultural power for their communities.
Investment in locally-rooted anchor organizations to expand their influence of state narratives and policies.
Rapid response grantmaking for real-time support to frontline leaders.
We must prioritize equity in the clean energy equation.
The Solutions Project is committing to feminine leadership and frontline leaders of color who are working to make 100% clean energy a reality in their communities.
By 2020, we will invest 95 percent of our resources in innovative frontline leadership of color, with at least 80 percent going to organizations led by women.
For a challenge as great as climate change, we need everyone on deck — including women and people of color who are leading clean energy efforts on the front lines of climate change, too often without resources or recognition.Don Cheadle Board Member
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