Supporting Our Communities

September 29, 2021

The results are in! OneEnergy has named five recipients for its corporate giving program for the first half of 2021. The selected non-profit organizations are: Social Justice Fund Northwest, National Black Food & Justice Alliance, Voces de la Frontera, Seattle Got Green, and Centro Hispano.

 

The OneEnergy corporate giving selection team required not-for-profit status and considered “impact efforts” including whether the donation supports racial and economic equity, and whether it directly supports marginalized and BIPOC communities. Candidates receive additional consideration if they are located near a OneEnergy solar project or near one of its Regional Offices.

 

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at OneEnergy evaluated corporate donations this year with a view towards focusing on marginalized and BIPOC communities. An interesting part of the evaluation process included finding hyper-local organizations that advocate for communities of color and other marginalized communities. Maria Zupan, Chair of the DEI Committee, explains, " We wanted to give to marginalized communities in the context of renewable energy. We thought it would be ideal if we could combine renewable energy goals with social justice.” Of course, there are numerous worthy organizations to consider, so to aid in vetting, the DEI Committee developed their own evaluation matrix. The process that emerged is truly collaborative, as team members offer their suggestions and then allot points based on a list of criteria. The five highest scoring organizations receive a shared monetary contribution for that giving period.

 

Social Justice Fund Northwest provides grants and other funding to support social and environmental justice organizations. Created in 1978, the fund has a rich history of donor activism in frontline causes.

 

Serving as a voice for Black rural and urban farmers, the National Black Food & Justice Alliance (NBFJA) works on extensive coalition building with a view towards creating equitable food economies and land access.

 

Voces de la Frontera began as a newspaper advocating for just treatment of Mexican factory workers in border towns but grew to also become a political action center for immigrant rights and the labor movement.

 

Led by low-income residents and people of color, Seattle Got Green organizes workshops, food drives, and youth leadership programs to bring the green economy to working class communities in Seattle.

 

Centro Hispano of Dane County, WI serves Latinos in the region through youth programs, family support services, employment assistance, and community health programs such as cooking and fitness classes.

 

OneEnergy's Corporate Giving Plan is a multi-faceted program that includes equipment donation and volunteerism in addition to monetary contributions. Volunteerism opportunities for staff have included mental health and homeless outreach, supporting adults with disabilities, and youth mentoring. Employees receive four paid hours per month to volunteer. According to OER's Corporate Giving Mission Statement, “OneEnergy gives, because we aim to be the change we wish to see in the world and recognize that responsible, anti-racist donating that redistributes wealth to underserved, disadvantaged, and/or minority communities is an essential element of effecting systemic change.” OneEnergy will continue to develop its charitable vision to support community organizations who are fighting for a just and equitable existence.

 

 

 

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