Like many of you, we have been horrified by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more members of the Black community who have yet to receive justice from police brutality. Anti-racism demonstrations locally and around the world have caused us to take a look at our own industry, our own privilege and our own actions as a company.
Now is the time to take action and show solidarity, identify and call out prejudice and bias in our own industry and be part of the solution. Historically, the Black community has been disproportionately excluded from solar ownership. Many discussions have taken place to try to identify causes and solutions for the racial inequalities in solar ownership, however as an industry we have yet to democratize solar.
Beyond the immediate threat of police brutality faced by persons of color, climate justice calls for us to identify the wide array of environmental harms disproportionately inflicted by race in the U.S. These include racist practices such as redlining, disinvestment, ghettoization of neighborhoods and polluting communities of color.
Artisan Electric believes there is no climate justice without racial justice. The weight of climate change is squarely on the back of people of color around the world. We recognize that fighting climate change necessitates confronting the history of colonialism, exploitation and discrimination against people of color.
The solar industry is historically white-led and has benefited predominately white communities. Our industry must work harder to diversify our workforce and increase access to renewable energy. Installing solar needs to become an act of resistance against racial inequality as well as environmental degradation. After all, they are both byproducts of America’s military industrial complex dominating and exploiting the “other” for economic gain.
We pledge to listen to individuals and communities of people of color, and use our voice and influence to stand for racial justice within our company as well as our community. We will seek opportunities to collaborate with experts within the solar industry to identify ways to combat implicit or explicit bias and to design strategies to change the written and unwritten rules in our industry that affect communities of people of color the most and have the greatest potential to advance justice and inclusion.
Until June 30, 2020 we are donating 100% of proceeds from our new Solar Resistance shop to Solar One, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to design and deliver innovative education, training, and technical assistance that fosters sustainability and resiliency in diverse urban environments. Solar One empowers learning that changes the way people think about energy, sustainability, and resilience by engaging and educating a diverse set of stakeholders and beneficiaries.
We have created 4 solar-positive designs to start with, all available on a wide variety of short and long sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, baby onesies, toddler tshirts, tank tops, tote bags, note books, phone cases, beach towels, pillow and more! (*Note these items are produced by Threadless, due to COVID-19 restrictions these items may take a few weeks to print and ship).
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