This work includes participating in the 2012 Good Jobs Green Jobs conference to highlight the opportunities that green job creation will have in increasing employment in lower income communities. SACE is also engaging new constituencies to participate in advocating for good clean energy policies; from highlighting community weatherization programs funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to mobilizing community leaders to attend public hearings to discuss new EPA rule’s that would set limits on mercury and other toxic air pollutants emitted from coal plants. And this month, to commemorate Black History Month, SACE partnered with the Atlanta Black Nurses Association and the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance to offer a Social Justice, Environmental Justice and the Impact on Minority Health Symposium for health care professionals, environmental and community advocates to discuss public health disparities from pollution in low income and communities of color. See our recent blog of this event here.
Since there are more African Americans living in the South than in any other part of country, our collaboration with this demographic is particularly valuable to us. African Americans and other persons of color are plagued with an array of health conditions that are directly associated with how energy is produced and consumed in our region and our country. In addition to the health disparities, many members of the African American community also pay a disproportionately high percentage of their annual budget for energy compared to other segments of the population.
As African Americans are part of the diverse family that is emerging in the Southeast, we believe that recognizing the significance of diversity is especially important during Black History month. SACE is committed to growing our relationships and helping be a positive force within the African American community in gaining a better understanding of energy and collaborating on how to advocate for policies and actions that help minimize both economic and health impacts to the community.
We continue to look for and are eager to find opportunities to partner with diverse voices around energy policy in our region.