At Solar One, we are proud of our LGBTQI employees, partners, supporters, colleagues and friends.
Happy Pride Everyone.
For more information on virtual events, participation and history, visit NYC Pride.
For more information on virtual events, participation and history, visit NYC Pride.
Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which marked the final chapter of legalized human slavery in the United States. But down in Texas, no one was in a hurry to tell the 250,000 enslaved people there that they were free. They had to endure another two and a half years of forced servitude before General Gordon Granger read the Proclamation declaring them free on June 19, 1865 in Galveston.
Ever since, African Americans in Texas have celebrated Juneteenth as an alternative Independence Day, and the celebrations have now spread across Black America so that what was once confined to communities in Texas is now celebrated everywhere.
Tomorrow is a sobering Juneteenth. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic that has affected families of color disproportionately, and are also grappling with wave after wave of violence against Black people, a reminder that we still have a long way to go before we are all truly free. Even as protests have swept the nation and reforms to police departments are being seriously discussed in many communities, African Americans and other people of color continue to be subject to violence and discrimination based on the color of their skin.
We at Solar One want wish you a good and meaningful Juneteenth. Here are some events that you can join to commemorate Juneteenth from the comfort of your home.
Juneteenth Music Festival: Great lineup of hosts, DJs and love performers. Free global livestreaming event that runs all day on Thursday, into the night. https://www.juneteenthmusicfestival.com/
Carnegie Hall is livestreaming a speech/sermon by Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. of Riverside Church on Friday at 7:30pm: https://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2020/06/19/Live-with-Carnegie-Hall-Juneteenth-Celebration-0730PM
Juneteenth Jubilee: A Night of Black Joy and Activism: A celebration with comedians, DJs, frontline organizers and more. Friday night starting at 7pm. Tickets are $5-20: https://www.caveat.nyc/event/juneteenth-jubilee-a-night-of-black-joy-and-activism-6-19-2020
Groundswell is hosting “Prepare for Power”, an evening with speeches from environmental justice activists/leaders and a live musical performance by Bartees Strange on Friday at 6pm: https://groundswell.org/prepareforpower/
Juneteenth Virtual Block Party hosted by the Coalition for Educational Justice on Friday at 12pm: www.eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-action-virtual-block-party-tickets-109210601850
NYC Men Teach Virtual Juneteenth Education is Freedom program, Friday 4:15pm (teach-in) followed by a program from 5-7pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nycmt-showcase-education-is-freedom-celebrating-liberatory-pedagogy-tickets-104976597830
Celebrating Juneteenth, Centre for Social Innovation, a musical performance and dialogue with Malik Work. Please note that this event is intended exclusively for Black People. Friday, 3-4pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-juneteenth-tickets-109699494140
The History of Juneteenth and Systemic Racism and Solutions, a discussion between Dr. James C. Anyike, Lead Servant/Pastor of Scott United Methodist Church and Tammy L. Cooper, Black History Educator and College Professor. Friday 12-1pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-history-of-juneteenth-and-systemic-racism-solutions-tickets-109006354942
May your celebrations give you joy and strength!
June 4, 2020
George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was brutally murdered by the police in Minneapolis. Solar One mourns his death, and expresses sorrow for his family, loved ones, and everyone else who is impacted by this tragedy. We also mourn the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Tony McDade and countless others. We are all affected by acts of violence that desecrate the value of human life. Unfortunately, police violence against Black people, and people of color, is not new. Tragedies like this one remind us that we have a long way to go to realize the ideals of liberty and justice for all.
Solar One stands in solidarity with demonstrators calling for criminal justice reform and greater police accountability to the communities they serve, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities. We stand with our staff, friends, and neighbors whose diversity make us stronger and make us who we are as New Yorkers. We call upon our leaders to take last week’s tragedy, and the demonstrations that have followed, to advance the cause of justice through policies that address institutional and systemic societal racism.
We at Solar One believe that all New Yorkers play a meaningful role in efforts to protect the environment and to build a more sustainable and resilient City for future generations. The murder of George Floyd is a symptom of the same callousness and institutional racism that allows polluting industries to site facilities in communities of color, and that allows underinvestment in education and housing in these same communities. Solar One seeks to honor George Floyd’s memory by dedicating ourselves to racial justice as our environmental programs continue to evolve to meet community needs in these challenging times.
-Staff and Board of Solar One
On behalf of the staff and Board of Solar One, I sincerely hope this email finds you and your families well and safe. In these unprecedented times, communication and continuity are more important than ever, and it’s in that spirit that I want to check in with you about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, as it now seems likely that this pause in normal life is not going to end anytime soon.
Like other organizations, our entire staff is working from home, having regular team and staff meetings via teleconferencing, and are working up plans to continue serving the communities that depend on us while keeping our staff, our students and trainees, and our partners from falling ill.
Like virtually every nonprofit in NYC and around the country, many of our programs have been cancelled because they require in-person delivery. While this has had an effect on our budget, we are adapting and trying to transform our programs to meet a new reality: remote delivery. This is particularly true of our Workforce Training and Green Design Lab programs, both of which serve populations (public school students and workforce trainees) who often bear a disproportionate brunt of hardship in a severe financial downturn. To continue providing high-quality, practically useful information, education and training despite inhospitable conditions is a central part of Solar One’s mission.
Here are some of the ways we’ll be continuing our programs during this time of social distancing:
Our Green Design Lab team had been ramping up for our busiest Spring season ever with the delivery of our programs in classrooms throughout the city; understandably, those classes have been cancelled. As the New York City Department of Education transitions to distance learning, our team of K-12 Educators is working to modify our hands-on lessons for a virtual learning environment. The GDL team hopes to be able to provide online environmental STEM curriculum and resources for NYC teachers and students that explore energy efficiency, climate change, and solar. Our Educators are also developing webinars and other interactive content to share with our networks.
At the same time, Stuyvesant Cove Park staff are also working with the GDL team to create virtual field trips, webinars and other topics that complement current school science and nature-based programming, while continuing to virtually manage our high school internship program, and creating and sharing free content on Instagram, with a focus on nature-based solutions to climate change, organic gardening and pollinator insects.
As with our GDL program, our Workforce Training program had classes fully booked for March, April and May. Now that those classes have been cancelled, our Workforce team is working with our partners to establish ways to deliver webinar-based training for already scheduled April/May classes. We have already created an online curriculum for one of our NYSERDA projects and hope to be able to do this for other courses like OSHA (occupational safety) and NABCEP (certifications for renewable energy practitioners). Additionally, workforce instructors are looking at ways to adapt our regular green construction, building operations and other courses to a virtual delivery system.
Our CECP (NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities) program is continuing its emission reduction work with the NYC Mayor’s Office and Division of Energy Management remotely, helping with policy proposals and consulting with building owners and operators to get their buildings into compliance.
Here Comes Solar is continuing to deliver solar technical assistance services for high-impact solar projects in NYC. Our team is offering clients remote solar consultations, and we are working closely with our partners to modify our community solar outreach strategy to minimize face-to-face interactions. To join a community solar initiative, please fill out the form at herecomessolar.nyc and someone from our team will follow up in 1-2 business days.
As with all of you, we do not yet know when the ground will settle or when we will be able to resume in-person delivery of our programs. We are planning for a long ride and will continue to keep up our communications with you through our weekly eNewsletter. But, as you can see, we’re having no trouble keeping busy, and we’ll send out more info on what we’re doing programmatically as the situation changes.
Stay safe and healthy,
December 3, 2019
Today is Giving Tuesday, a coordinated effort of year-end giving that was started in 2011 to help counteract the overwhelming and exhausting consumerism and anxiety that often accompanies the demands of the holiday season. And while Giving Tuesday can itself seem overwhelming, the fact is that over the past eight years, it has been a tremendous success. From raising about $10 million in 2012 to as much as $400 million last year, the Giving Tuesday groundswell shows that the spirit of giving is contagious.
And it turns out that there’s a scientific basis for that: Giving has measurable effects on the brain, promoting both physical and mental health. According to research from the Cleveland Clinic, the benefits of charitable giving include:
Giving to a cause we are passionate about can also help soothe feelings of helplessness and stress, even in the face of crisis and uncertainty. It lifts us up out of ourselves and makes us part of something much bigger.
When you choose to make a gift to Solar One, you are supporting a clean energy revolution, innovative ways of teaching sustainability, the empowerment of environmental justice communities, and offering the hope of dignified employment to the formerly incarcerated and addicted. This Giving Tuesday, help yourself by helping the many students, teachers, trainees, and low-income residents who depend on Solar One’s programs to enrich their lives and improve their futures.
All gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law, and gifts can be split into monthly donations.
Thank you in advance for your support, and thank you for being part of the Giving Tuesday community.