Authors: Alli Chagi-Starr, Senior Community Engagement Strategist
On Sunday, October 10, a dream came true on a street corner near downtown Oakland, California. On 10/10/10, 350.org organized a Global Work Party — an international day of service for climate action — Oakland's Green Youth Arts & Media Center got hooked up to the free power of the sun.
For two years, the visionaries behind the Center have worked to find a generous supporter to donate solar panels — a win for both the environment, the Center, and the youth whom the Center serves. Sungevity stepped up. Now the Center is saving money every month on energy bills, and the earth has less carbon to deal with in the atmosphere.
When we think of people putting up solar panels, we usually think of well-to-do people with the money to afford it. Sungevity is changing that. The Oakland-based company is committed to finding ways for everyday people to get solar panels through an easy leasing program. Sungevity was one of the lead solar companies to push the White House to go solar.
Sungevity founder Danny Kennedy even joined in the festivities. An activist at heart, he was in the Maldives — islands in danger of being underwater within 20 years — putting solar panels on the President's palace. He flew straight from there to the Oakland Green Youth Arts & Media Center — because he knows that the people in the Maldives and the youth of Oakland share one world and one fate.
How fortunate for the Center. I mean, how many youth centers get free solar panels? Oakland's Green Youth Arts & Media Center may be one of the first, but we hope it is far from the last.