Join the Movement
The Green Jobs, Green Economy Initiative developed P.O.W.E.R. (People Organizing for Wealth and Ecological Restoration) in collaboration with the ESHU² Collective (Education Should Help Us X Ecology, Spirituality, Health and Unity). The founders of the P.O.W.E.R. Project believe strongly in developing leadership from within the community. We believe that community members are the best suited to co-create solutions which are locally controlled and socially just.
As expressed by our name, P.O.W.E.R. is focused on creating local solutions to environmental as well as social and economic concerns. We foster a whole-systems approach to addressing the array of complex problems facing our city and the world. By strengthening community ties within this solutions-based framework, we are building the capacity to address the many converging challenges of our time and to thrive together in the years ahead.
While the scope of this program is intentionally broad and adaptive, we are currently supporting New Bedford and surrounding communities in becoming more energy efficient through the Community Mobilization Initiative. High unemployment, financial instability and high rates of carbon emissions are three major challenges for the Southcoast. By implementing a program that can drive demand for low-cost, high impact weatherization work, we can address all three of these concerns at the same time. Reducing emissions, lowering energy costs and creating jobs require the development of leadership capacity within the city in order to strengthen our community as a whole and to build the systems necessary for making these changes.
The P.O.W.E.R. team is responsible for the outreach component of the Community Mobilization Initiative. Although improving energy efficiency on residential buildings is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce energy costs (and carbon emissions), it requires buy-in and participation from local residents. Residents need to understand how and why to participate. In essence, we need to shift the consciousness and culture around energy use. One of the best ways to create this kind of shift is through grassroots community organizing, led by people living in the community who are knowledgeable and passionate educators and leaders.
We utilize grassroots community organizing tactics such as door-to-door outreach and creative social marketing to educate and engage residents and to generate demand for weatherization services. We organize and support community events and engage with local organizations and businesses that support us in our mutually beneficial endeavors. We are constantly developing our strategies through discussion in order to reflect on ways to become even better Community Mobilization Leaders. We aim to inspire those that see us moving through our community with words of wisdom and affirmations of action.
We are directly creating jobs through hiring local residents as part of the P.O.W.E.R. team and through creating weatherization work for YouthBuild New Bedford‘s Urban Energy Solutions, a local contractor which employs all New Bedford residents and which will complete the weatherization work generated though this project. Additionally, we are directly helping local residents save money on energy costs. In short, we are saving local people money and creating local jobs, all while building a stronger community and restoring the environment.
There are so many problems facing our communities and our planet - we believe that the challenges we face are so great that we need everyone’s help to solve them. Every single person has value to contribute to the solution. Welcome to the P.O.W.E.R. Project!
Our stated operating principles form the bedrock of the culture and organization we are building together. Each member of the P.O.W.E.R. team has agreed to uphold and manifest these principles to the best of our ability. What follows are our definitions of these principles for Operations, Communication and Interactions within our organization and community.
● Operations – How our systems work; policies and procedures
● Communication – How we exchange our thoughts, words, energy and beliefs with each other and the community
● Interaction- How we represent P.O.W.E.R and are in community with each other and the inner development of ourselves
Principle 1 – Harmony
Active respect for all leadership, chain of command, policies, partners, sponsors, community and the mission must be maintained at all times. Respect includes speaking your truth and receiving the truth of others to improve systems, team member performance and others at the allotted times only.
Principle 2 – Co-Creation
Co-Creators in a process
Work with supervision, team members, and advisers to design the strategy. There should be no expectation that everything is already figured out. We build the road by walking.
Principle 3 – Warriorship
Warriorship as the highest form of leadership. It is an integral part of our mission to restore our relationship to the environment, which includes each other and ourselves. It’s more than leadership, it’s about warriorship and remembrance of the sacred, the inner, growing, and finding the balance between being and doing. Sacrifice, Discipline, Accountability, Joy.
Principle 4 – Protection
Many reputations to protect, especially your own
There should be no action taken by word or deed to undermine, destroy, or cast doubt on this movement, its ideals, our communities, ourselves, or each other. In a small community there is no invisibility.
Principle 5 – Action
Act like you know and play your role to the fullest
Being a part of this movement is a gift, a gift that can only be realized by your own initiative. We must each do what is expected with excellence and when the occasion arises we must do more. Be willing to go above and beyond.
Principle 6 – Unity
Stay on Point
Disregarding any of the above mentioned principles will be met with severe and swift measures, most likely termination. Please do not take it personal – if you cannot or will not embody these principles, you cannot and will not be a part of P.O.W.E.R.