GREEN DMV launches the Green Faith Initiative and gives away $90,000 for energy efficient retrofits to DC houses of worship
Washington DC – On Saturday, April 23, several Washington, DC residents gathered at Good Success Christian Church in Northeast DC to participate in GREEN DMV’s most recent initiative designed to engage DC residents on issues of sustainability and help connect them to resources that enable them to participate in the promise of the growing green economy. The District of Columbia is increasingly becoming a more sustainable city and has been named the U.S. EPA’s #1 Green Power Community.
Many argue that not all DC residents are benefitting from the growing focus on sustainability and most benefactors are not located in low-income communities. In an effort to ensure that the green economy is inclusive of all DC residents, GREEN DMV launched the Green Faith Initiative through a grant from the District Department of the Environment. This past Saturday marked the beginning of many community events designed to educate and empower many historically disenfranchised communities to embrace environmental stewardship.
The event hosted a diverse group of faith-focused panelists to discuss the role that the faith-based community plays in ensuring that their communities embrace environmental stewardship. The panelists discussed how the community should take personal responsibility for protecting the planet as a biblical mandate. Acacia Bamberg Salatti, Deputy Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership for U.S. Health and Human Services, said “Faith-based communities play a very important part in making sure that they are actively engaged in sustainability activities”.
DC Ward 7 Councilmember, Yvette Alexander was also on site for the event. Councilmember Alexander discussed the many DC initiatives that were underway to promote sustainability in Ward 7. Alexander said “I had to make a personal commitment to live and eat healthier, that’s why I launched my fitness challenge last year to encourage others through my personal example.”
Councilmember Alexander also recognized DC community leaders that were active in her ward 7 in spreading environmental awareness and empowerment messages like Dennis Chestnut, Irv Sheffy, and Raymond Bell, who have all been active in the community for years.
The event culminated with a raffle to select which 3 houses of worship would receive $30,000 each through a grant from the District Department of the Environment to complete energy audits and perform energy efficient improvements to their facilities. The suspense mounted as the names of the winning houses of worship were drawn. The building erupted with cheers and claps of excitement from the crowd. The winners were Good Success Christian Church in Northeast, Miracle Temple Non-Denominational Church in Southeast and Metropolitan AME Church in Northwest. The improvements will be designed to increase energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, help them save money on their utility costs and create green jobs.
About GREEN DMV
GREEN DMV is a 2010 EPA Mid-Atlantic Environmental Excellence award winning environmental 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that educates low-income communities about environmental stewardship. GREEN DMV’s mission is to promote the economic advancement of low-income communities by creating a national culture of environmental values. GREEN DMV accomplishes its mission by harnessing environmental sound practices that benefit those on the margins as well as the community at large and empower them to make decisions that benefit the planet. www.greendmv.org