Solar Industry Celebrates Black History Month and Industry Leaders
Tuesday, Feb 09 2021
This year, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is celebrating Black History Month by recognizing the contributions of Black entrepreneurs and leaders to the success of the solar industry. During this period of celebration, we must also take time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice in America and think about the role we can all play to make a difference.
Throughout Black History Month, SEIA will be presenting a series of profiles that highlight the important work Black solar professionals are doing to help ensure the future of the solar industry is bright. Through their work in the clean energy industry, these leaders set strong examples for younger generations to look up to as the country embarks on the decarbonization of our electricity system and the creation of a solar marketplace that is fair and equitable to all people. The growth and success of the clean energy industry depends on a strong, innovative workforce that represents the diversity of our country. SEIA will continue working to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) are core values for the solar industry.
To make sure these values are reflected in all corners of the solar industry, the SEIA Board created a taskforce to take action on these issues and adopt a suite of DEIJ-focused policies and programs. Central among these is the creation of a policy platform that puts equity and environmental justice at the forefront. The clean energy transition will create incredible economic opportunity, and it’s imperative that those benefits are felt in communities that have been impacted by environmental racism and have historically been shut out from jobs and investment in the energy sector.
Equally as important is the work we’re doing to support minority-owned businesses and encourage our companies to be mindful of the partners and vendors they use to see if there might be opportunities to work with diverse businesses. There are numerous opportunities for solar companies to work with minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses, and part of SEIA’s supplier diversity work is to help the solar industry identify and work with these companies. In addition to supplier diversity resources we’ve created in the past, we will soon be launching a supplier diversity database and other incentives to build on and encourage these actions.
In addition to this work, SEIA’s board taskforce on DEIJ is working on a mentorship program to grow the next generation of leaders as well as a certification program to encourage companies to adopt DEIJ best practices.
SEIA remains committed to ensuring that racial justice and opportunity for all are at the center of our work. This Black History Month, we look forward to sharing the stories of Black leaders in the solar industry and highlighting how they got their start in renewable energy, the lessons they’ve learned in their careers, and what they hope for the future.
Follow SEIA on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to hear their stories.