Juneteenth, celebrated on the 19th of June each year, is a celebration of the freedom of the last slaves in the United States. On this day in 1865, nearly two and a half years following the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers enforced the freedom nation wide and liberated the last slaves in Galveston, Texas. Today, we at Poseidon Systems want to celebrate Juneteenth and recognize the contributions of Black Americans to the renewable energy industry.

Hazel O’Leary

O’Leary was the first Black Secretary of Energy and in her time, she emphasized the importance of renewable energy and increased funding for renewable energy, in addition to other shifts in policy towards renewable energy advancement. She later led the Ambassadors for Minorities in Energy Initiative as part of the DoE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.

Lisa Jackson

Jackson was the first Black person to serve as Administrator of the EPA in 2009. She worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand outreach to minority communities on environmental education. Jackson has been named one of Newsweek’s “Most Important People in 2010,” featured on Time magazine’s 2010 and 2011 lists of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, listed in Essence magazine’s “40 Women Who Have Influenced the World,” and profiled in O magazine for her work to protect our nation’s air, water and land from pollution that threatens human health.

Dr. Robert D. Bullard

Dr. Bullard is known as the “father of the environmental justice movement” and he has written 18 books on how environmental policies underserve minority communities. He has been named one of 22 climate trailblazers by the The Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) and one of the 100 most influential people in climate policy by Apolitical.

Devin Hampton

Devin Hampton is the CEO of UtilityAPI, a utility data service for the clean energy industry. Hampton has been advocating for increased diversity in the renewable energy industry. According to the Department of Energy, only 8% of U.S. wind energy industries are Black, which is below the national workforce average. We commend Hampton for speaking up on this important issue affecting our industry.

As we take the time to reflect on Juneteenth, it is important to recognize the contributions of Black Americans towards renewable energy in the past and at the present. However it is also important to acknowledge that we still have to counteract the lack of diversity in our industry and recognize that we still have work to do.

Happy Juneteenth from the Poseidon Systems team!