MassEnergize is taking steps to ensure that we are not perpetuating inequity and environmental injustice in our work and that we are actively working to achieve greater equity. We wish to bring the voices of disadvantaged communities into our thinking, conversations and work. To that end, we committed two full-time 2021 summer internships specifically to this effort. We were fortunate enough to recruit Jacob Abeka and Tina Zheng to engage in this work.
Tina Zheng conducted a listening tour across more than 15 community groups and organizations to explore their thoughts and experiences with addressing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). She evaluated our MassEnergize DEI statement and assessed the applicability of our collective community actions to a more diverse or disadvantaged community. Her take-aways and recommendations to MassEnergize will be shared with our communities and partners this fall.
Jacob Abeka’s work is to deeply engage within Framingham to reach out to new communities within the City. He is splitting his time between conducting direct outreach to faith leaders and working with the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) to assist low income families. His learnings about effective community outreach will be shared with other communities eager to further their outreach this fall.
We are thrilled that we have started our work to become more inclusive and achieve greater equity. We are always revisiting and rewriting our DEI and Environmental Justice statement to reflect our learning thus far.
We are even more excited that this work will continue beyond these internships through the work of Jazz Murray, our wonderful Program Manager. We look forward to continuing to listen, learn and act to become more inclusive and equitable.