On April 14, Reverend Meredith Moise will join Groundswell as the team's first Program Coordinator in Baltimore. Her depth of experience with community organization, her unshakeable values, her desire to make a change, and finally, her deep love for Baltimore made her a perfect fit.
Prior to joining Groundswell, she worked as a Wind Energy Organizer for the MD League of Conservation Voters. She also served as Co-Chair of the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change 2012, and currently serves at the Church of Spiritual Humanism and the Christian United Church, both in Baltimore. As we excitedly await her start date, we took some time to catch up with her about her community perspective and her upcoming adventure with us.
Why did you choose Groundswell?
I chose Groundswell because the organization is offering communities in the Baltimore area a great opportunity to engage and gather around affordable clean energy. Especially in light of the intense winter we just had, people definitely need the solutions that Groundswell is proposing.
You’ve been a community organizer in Baltimore for 12 years now – you must have witnessed all the greatness this city and its communities are capable of.
Indeed. Baltimoreans are amazing. They are passionate, good hearted, and they really want to do better, to move forward – for themselves, for their fellow citizens and for their children. They have an amazing capacity to make great things happen in a city where things aren’t always easy.
One of the biggest challenges in Baltimore still is that many communities don’t even know they can reach the clean energy market. But you seem passionate about reaching out to new and diverse communities, so what has your experience taught you and how are you going to use it at Groundswell? Are you excited about this new adventure?
Yes. Very, very excited. And you’re right: a lot of people don’t know about clean power and alternative solutions around energy consumption. But Groundswell is doing a great job trying to make these options accessible. I am looking forward to working with community leaders to introduce clean energy to their neighborhoods and networks – to introduce a choice, other options.
[Left: Meredith Moise and Kate Clinton at the Creating Change Conference]
You’ve ordained many philanthropic, ecumenical ceremonies and helped organize numerous pro-community events. You seem to value the power of faith, but also, more generally, of communities coming together.
I indeed think that it’s crucial for urban communities to engage in common projects and organize around common values. I love working with Baltimore communities because their power to make change is phenomenal, and I think they can come together to achieve real impacts with Groundswell. Baltimore has a real history of trailblazing actions.
You also have a history of defending the rights of the LGBT community. Is social equality one of your career’s major goals?
Absolutely. I believe that equity and justice are values we should all defend on a daily basis. We have to work within a human life framework. And I believe that energy issues are human rights issues. I believe that we need to bring Baltimore what Groundswell offers because people there deserve the right to choose the type of energy they want to use and to have access to socially responsible options.
Your previous job – you were a wind energy organizer for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters – was about spreading awareness of renewable energy options in Baltimore and coordinating community efforts around
wind power. Can you tell us a bit more about the impact of affordable clean energy on organizations and residents of Baltimore?
Air quality and air pollution are two great subjects of concern in the city. Affordable clean energy can therefore have a significant health impact. It can change the global environment, but also everyone’s local environment. The other great thing about Groundswell’s work and an accessible clean energy market is the potential to bring jobs to the city – a lot of jobs. To sum things up, affordable clean energy can bring health and wealth to Baltimore.
[Right: Meredith Moise and founders of Baltimore Black Pride]