I am heartbroken and outraged by the events of the last week. The causes are deep, spanning back decades and centuries. George Floyd’s death is the most recent egregious racial injustice: a stinging reminder of the racism, nativism, and bigotry that is too pervasive today, as it has been throughout our country’s history.
There are many people – within our company, our families, our greater community, and across the globe – who are in pain. We were already hurting from COVID-19, and now the deep wounds and scars of racism have been cut anew. It is understandable to feel angry, sad, or helpless. But it is my great hope that we can channel those feelings to affect meaningful change in ourselves and our communities.
Bright Power as a company, and our leadership and employees individually, are motivated to be part of the solution.
We are resolute in our work to reduce carbon emissions and keep our planet habitable for all forms of life. I am proud that so much of our work is in affordable housing, providing safe, comfortable, and healthy homes for those with the greatest need and the lowest means. Climate change disproportionately harms communities of color and low-income communities, so our work to curb harmful emissions directly addresses an important human rights issue.
But saving the planet is not enough. Racism makes it impossible to live sustainably. We stand firmly with our colleagues, clients, friends, families, and neighbors in repudiating the recent horrific acts of violence against Black people. And we cannot ignore the fact that people of color in this country are disproportionately low-income, living in more polluted areas, bearing the effects of climate change, and also disproportionately unable to access the benefits of the clean energy economy.
So, we are also doubling-down on our efforts to foster diversity within our company and within our field. This starts with compassion and empathy for those who come from different backgrounds and life experiences. We are hosting internal conversations, sharing resources on anti-racism and activism, and supporting and listening to each other. Our CTO, Jamil Ellis, hosts a podcast that digs deep into the current and historical context of the Black experience in America.
We’re making a commitment to develop and draw from a more diverse talent pool for every new hire. The color of a person’s skin or the community from which they come should not be a limitation in joining our company or our industry. We recently rekindled our employee-driven AMPS (Alliance for Multicultural People in Sustainability) initiative to hold ourselves accountable and continue this work indefinitely.
We envision a future in which every person, regardless of skin color or place of birth, has a clean, comfortable and safe place to live, that serves to restore rather than destroy the planet, with equal access to education, health care, and healthy food, without fear of being targeted, locked away, or killed.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. But together we can support each other, remove the structural barriers that perpetuate oppression and injustice, and create this future.
Wishing you peace and strength in this trying time,
CEO, President & Founder