The Ipsun Solar family is heartbroken and disgusted by the brutal murder of George Floyd, and the countless other Black lives taken at the hands of law enforcement. Being at the epicenter of our nation's capital, we have seen firsthand the outrage it has caused, but also the hope.We have a firsthand view of a national catharsis playing out in our own backyard. However, the racism that pervades our society is not just in law enforcement. It is in the access that our Black neighbors have to education, housing, job opportunities, health care, quality food, a safe place to raise their children, and countless other basic human rights that we too often take for granted.
The events of the past two weeks have given us a unique opportunity for self-reflection as we try to understand how each of us is culpable for a system that systematically disenfranchises and exposes Black people to brutality that we would not wish on our worst enemy. As shareholders in this democracy, we all must accept responsibility for how we allowed our country to reach this point.
As a company that actively works to fight climate change, we also must redouble our commitment to a just transition to renewable energy. We cannot fight climate change without also actively fighting racism. We see Black and Brown communities systematically destroyed by polluting industries that bring high asthma rates, low life expectancies, and much higher rates of life-threatening Covid infection. We remain committed to a new way forward that is sustainable for all people and leaves no one behind.
Over the coming months and years, I hope you will work with us to figure out how we can build a stronger, more just, and more equitable community. It is no longer sustainable for us to have many countries housed within one, with differing systems of justice and opportunity based on one's skin color. Please join us in using our platform and our industry to find a way through to a more peaceful place. That path will require uncomfortable conversations within ourselves, with each other, and with our elected officials. But there is no other path remaining.
Frederick Douglass famously said "“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Let the real struggle begin.
Co-founders, Ipsun Solar
Because we are looking for ways to turn our feelings into action, we have compiled this list which addresses immediate ways to learn and to get involved. We hope you may find it helpful:
- Support black-owned businesses open during the pandemic.
- Participate in the Movement for Black Lives Week of Action.
- Text “ActionNOW” to 90975 to get regular updates about actions you can take.
Groups to Support (with time or money):
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Black Visions Collective
- Unicorn Riot
- Campaign Zero
- Our Climate Voices
Articles about Talking to Kids about Racism and Injustice:
- “Talking to Children After Racial Incidents,” which lists phrases to use in conversation with kids from a social justice perspective
- “100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child to Advance Racial Justice”
- “Experts in Child Psychology Explain How Parents Can Begin Conversations about Racial Violence and Police Brutality”
Other Resources for Allies:
- “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice”
- The 1619 Project
- “Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not”
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde