Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are a series of steps that energy professionals can take to provide equitable solutions to address the interconnected crises of racial justice and COVID-19.

• What is the relationship between these crises? How can philanthropists support the energy industry in responding? 

• Read how donors can center equity their COVID-19 response. 

As a New York City resident, director of an energy consulting organization, an advocate of energy equity and a third-generation resident of public housing, I have a unique view of the structural barriers we must break down to solve the global climate crisis. As energy consultants developing energy solutions, it may feel difficult to look away from the bombardment of messaging about death and economic downfall, and videos of divisiveness and hatred.

More than 122,000 U.S. residents — our neighbors, friends and family members — have died from COVID-19. Witnessing a family member or a friend die so suddenly is new to most of us.

But the worst part is that our country has had not one pandemic, but two rising. We are seeing on social media people of color — specifically, Black people — murdered time and time again. As with COVID-19, families are worried about how many times they have to see a son, daughter, nephew, or friend die so suddenly. They’re also the target of hatred from people they've never met, feeling the pain, worry, and stress of being judged by their skin color.

What should energy professionals who care about these interconnected crises and operate in historically underserved communities do? What’s the best way to look at COVID and racial injustice, and focus the negative emotions and stress onto positive, equitable energy solutions towards climate change?

You can start with the following steps:

  1. Understand the connections and empathize
  2. 'Assess the situation
  3. Let communities lead
  4. Evaluate information access
  5. Consider equitable hiring and training
  6. Educate yourself

Read the full article about advancing equity energy solutions by Daphany Rose Sanchez at GreenBiz.