April 27, 2017

The Solutions Project’s 100% campaign and Fighter Fund grantee, Soulardarity, joined forces to surprise five residents and business owners in Highland Park, Michigan with solar-powered streetlights.

Located within the city limits of Detroit, Highland Park is a small community with a lot of people power. In 2011, DTE Energy repossessed over 1000 streetlights from the city, literally leaving people in the dark. Working with Soulardarity, Highland Park residents now bringing light back to the community with their leadership.

The project was among the ONE100 Awards, which is a program designated to honor people across the country who are giving 100% to promote clean energy. 

As reported in the Detroit Free Press:

Cindy raised her hands in the air when she learned from Jackson Koeppel, executive director of Soulardarity, that she was going to receive a free solar-powered light, a $250 value. 

Mondy’s daughter, Jennah, 15, helped Mondy walk down the alley next to their house — an alley speckled with broken glass and other debris — to their garage, where an older light is located, but not working. Next to the alley is a large, partially boarded-up building where the elder Mondy said people hang out and exit out a side door into the alley.

Ali Dirul, engineering director, and Karanja Famodou, projects co-director with Ryter Cooperative Industries, quickly installed the light at the Mondy home and at the other locations, such as Nandi’s Knowledge Café & Books & More on Woodward, where 12-year owner Nandi Frye watched them work above the back door.

“Now, it’s not gonna cost me anything. It’s solar. It’s the sun,” Frye said, after explaining that she is trying revitalize the back of the 100-year-old building that houses her business into a space that her customers can use. Read the full story here.

In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing the final video of these bold leaders bringing clean energy to Highland Park.

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