Green Pathways Out of Poverty Overview

With the increasing need to reduce carbon emissions, the renewable energy economy is poised to grow enormously. New workforce and economic development opportunities have the potential to address historic social inequities and generate vital income for communities that have long suffered high rates of poverty and unemployment. The emerging green economy must protect the environment while ensuring economic well-being for individuals, families and communities. The Penney Family Fund supports the promotion of broad community engagement and the development of new policies to ensure that disenfranchised communities actively participate in and benefit from the green economy.  The Fund supports community based organizations that:

  • Enable disadvantaged communities, including low-income communities and communities of color, to influence policy priorities in at least one of the following issue areas:
    • Energy Equity and Sustainability, including but not limited to expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, and,
    • Water Equity, Access and Sustainability, with a particular focus on policies that ensure access to fair quantities of high quality water for disadvantaged communities in rural regions; 
  • Work to develop, promote and influence policies to achieve economic benefits such as job creation, energy efficiency and wealth building in those communities;
  • Integrate policy work into long-term economic and environmental justice efforts;
  • Are led by and actively engaging people from disadvantaged communities; and
  • Are actively engaged in collaborations or coalitions working towards these policies.