Author: PACE Nation Staff Published: 3/18/21 Info@pacenation.org
In March 2019, 150 leaders in the PACE community raised their hands and made a commitment to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) PACE marketplace. These leaders agreed to work with PACENation to develop a set of proactive steps we can take together to build a PACE marketplace that is good for people, good for communities and good for business.
The commitments included in this plan are intended as another step to facilitate the growth of a PACE marketplace that enables historically underserved and underrepresented communities to be full participants in our nation’s clean energy future. For us, full participation means access to capital for critical building upgrades, access to jobs and career advancement, and access to wealth creation opportunities for people of color, women, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.
To develop this action plan, we sought guidance and perspective from experienced leaders who have dedicated their careers to advocating for racial, economic and environmental justice. We are grateful to everyone in the PACE community who showed up for hard conversations — and to everyone who was willing to listen and learn — as we pushed ourselves to do better.
The undersigned individuals are committing their organizations to fulfill all of the actions included below. We will report on our progress in the months ahead.
As we begin the work of implementing this plan, we welcome continued feedback and ideas. We know there is so much more to do.
Our Commitment to Action
We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, have aligned around the following commitments, which we believe represent a strong first step toward building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive PACE marketplace. Our commitments fall into four categories:
Transparency and Accountability, Hiring and Organizational Leadership, Cultivating Future Leaders, and Strengthening PACE for All Communities.
Transparency and Accountability
In order to facilitate full transparency and accountability about how we are living up to our DEI commitments inside our own organizations, each of us commits to:
- Share employment data with PACENation on an annual basis (subject to internal corporate requirements) so that PACENation can track the PACE industry’s progress in hiring and promoting people of color, women, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities;
- Develop specific strategies and tactics to increase the diversity of the PACE supply chain and the companies we do business with.
Hiring and Organizational Leadership
In order to improve the diversity of our own organizations, especially at senior leadership levels and above, each of us commits to:
- Review recruitment efforts and outline the steps necessary to increase the diversity of our Board of Directors, senior leadership staff and other staff within the next 3 months and then take concrete action to increase the diversity of our Board and leadership within the next 18 months;
- Review hiring practices and implement measures to better reach a diverse pool of candidates.
Cultivating Future Leaders
In order to establish career pathways for future leaders and foster a corporate culture that prioritizes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, each of us commits to:
- Support an industry-wide “Access and Equity Internship Program,” a paid internship program that is designed to create career pathways for young leaders. Support for this initiative can include but is not limited to funding an internship at one’s own organization, helping to fund an internship opportunity with a local government or PACE administrator, or hosting an internship opportunity that is jointly funded by others;
- Encourage all employees to participate in unconscious bias and allyship training offered annually by PACENation.
Strengthening PACE for All Communities
In order to ensure PACE financing benefits all communities, especially historically underserved communities, each of us commits to:
- (Residential PACE providers only) Coordinate with community stakeholders and relevant policymakers to accelerate the adoption of enhanced national consumer protection standards that will be enforced in all residential PACE programs;
- (Commercial PACE providers only) Coordinate with community organizations and relevant federal agencies (e.g. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) to reduce barriers and accelerate investment into affordable multi-family housing and long-term care facilities, where high energy costs disproportionately impact low-income communities of color;
- (PACENation only) Support city and county officials in their efforts to ensure access to clean drinking water and clean energy in low-income communities.
Signatories as of March 18, 2021:
Executive Director, PACENation
Deputy Director, PACENation
Director, Market Research, PACENation
CEO, Greenworks Lending
Partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP
Anthony (Tony) DiPrima, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, Inc.
Deputy Director, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
Partner, Donovan Energy
CEO, Renew Financial
President & CEO, Connecticut Green Bank
CEO, PACE Funding Group
CEO, PACE Loan Group
Executive Director, 350 Deschutes
CEO, Construction Art
General Counsel, Slipstream
Managing Partner, Ebee Management Group
CEO, Ygrene Energy Fund
President & CEO, Philadelphia Energy Authority
Environmental Sustainability Director, City of Milwaukee
Founder, President, PACE Fund NM
Todd M. Williams
President & General Counsel, Lean and Green Michigan, LLC
PACE-enabling legislation is active in 36 states plus D.C., and PACE programs are now active (launched and operating) in 24 states plus D.C. Residential PACE is currently offered in California, Florida, and Missouri. Click your state to find PACE programs operating in your area.
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