The EcoBlock team supports Black Lives Matter and pledges to focus on greater racial equity and inclusivity. We recognize there can be no climate justice without racial justice.
Black, brown, red and other communities of color suffer disproportionately higher rates of negative health impacts from air pollution and lack of resources. This is particularly true in East Oakland, where Oakland’s first EcoBlock is located. The EcoBlock team stands with these communities to address this issue at the neighborhood level, where we hope our research and partnership will become a resource for disadvantaged communities.
The goal of the EcoBlock project is to improve existing urban houses and provide resilience to the neighborhood as a whole, especially in communities who could not otherwise afford the improvements. The project aims to lower utility bills, improve indoor air quality, and increase comfort by providing energy and water efficiency, installing a solar microgrid with storage, establishing electric vehicle charging, and engaging a car share service for the neighborhood block community.
The protests across the country this year have given us pause to reflect on what more we can do. We will work with the community and seek other ways of overcoming racial inequity, such as hiring more local subcontractors, using community-based vendors, and seeking workforce training opportunities for local residents.
As President Obama said, change is possible––and there is still so much work to do.