Communities LEAP in Highland Park

Good news for Highland Park! Our city is one of twenty two communities that has been selected to participate in Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program). This opportunity is being offered through the Department of Energy’s clean energy deployment work.

To qualify, it was required to submit an extensive application to make the case. Through a collaborative effort amongst multiple stakeholders, including Highland Park Community Crisis Coalition, Soulardarity, Avalon Village, Parker Village, and Highland Park Water and Engineering Department, the city is now eligible to receive up to $500k worth of technical assistance to address the energy crisis. With engagement from Highland Park residents and city government, we will partner with DOE to pursue a path toward 100% local, clean, renewable energy.

Securing this support is a major step forward towards the goals of our Blueprint For Energy Democracy, a vision established by our Highland Park leaders in 2019.

This could not have happened without the offers of support in all the forms they came in. In addition to the community organizations of the multi-stakeholder team, letters of support from the following were included:

  • Representative Rashida Tlaib - Vice Chair Subcommittee on Environment
  • State of Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification
  • State of Michigan Public Service Commission
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Polar Bear Sustainable Energy Cooperative
  • City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovation
  • 5 Lakes Energy
  • Elevate: Equity Through Climate Action
  • Highland Park Human Rights Coalition
  • Vote Solar

We wanted to share this good news with our members. And we want you to know that we will be working hard to ground this process in meeting the real needs of our community - affordable rates, reliable power, healthy environment, and resilience to crisis. We can’t do it without you - so get ready to get involved!

Soulardarity + MREA Rise Up Academy Partner to Bring Solar Careers to Highland Park, MI

Soulardarity is helping Highland Park prepare for a #solarfuture. We're excited to announce that we've partnered again with Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) for the Rise Up Scholarship Training program to offer career training for jobs in the solar industry. Apply for admission and scholarships by Monday, February 28, 2022. MREA is able to provide a limited number of loaner laptops to assist with completing the self guided courses. Complete the online application here.

Winter Storm Preparations

Residents of Highland Park

There is a winter storm watch in effect from late Tuesday, February 1 night through Thursday, February 3 evening. The metro Detroit area will see a possible total snow accumulation of 8 to 16 inches. 

  • Due to upcoming winter storm, we are asking that residents are mindful of safety and snow protocols and work together with the Police, Fire, & Public Works Department.
  • The City of Highland Park will have salt and plow trucks out in the community to maintain the roads.
  • Where able, Please Do Not Park On The Street, but in the driveways, garages, and lots. 
  • All snow will be plowed to the north side of most residential streets.
  • If you have to park on the street, please be mindful that you may be plowed in. 

Fire Safety

Please practice fire safety during this time. If at any time you experience a fire, please have a meeting point for your family. 


What To Do In Case of Power Outages

In the event of a power outage, here are some time on how to be prepared:

Before Power Outage

Check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source for obtaining weather and emergency information during a storm. Remember to charge your devices (tip: you can use your car to charge your phone if you have the appropriate cords).

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If the doors stay closed, food will stay safe for up to: 4 hours in a refrigerator. 48 hours in a full freezer; 24 hours in a half-full freezer.
Does renters insurance cover food loss due to power outage?
“Yes, it actually does cover food as your personal property. If your apartment loses power and the food gets spoiled in the refrigerator, your renters insurance should cover food replacement subject to your deductible.

During the Power Outage

  • Dress for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, light-weight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are better than gloves.
  • Wear a hat—most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

After the Power Outage

  • Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines. Keep children and pets away from them. Always stay 25 feet away from downed power lines.
  • Check on neighbors, especially senior citizens and individuals with functional needs.

Soulardarity 2021 End of Year Office Hours

VOTE BY MAY 1st: Board Elections & Annual Meeting 2021

 Election time is here! Your Vote is Needed Soulardarity Members!



  1. You must be a Soulardarity member whose dues are paid (you gave given at least $10 in the last 12 months) in order to vote. Need to start or renew your membership to vote? Click here
  2. Each member has one vote for each available board position.
  3. After reviewing the candidate information, use the 2021 Election Form to rank the candidates from the one you support the most (First Choice) to least (Third Choice). ****DO NOT select a candidate more than once!****


Members are encouraged to attend the meeting by phone or computer. Zoom link and instructions will be provided upon RSVP. Candidates will be in attendance to answer questions from the membership. 





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4/16/2021 Statement On DTE Settlement Agreement


On Wednesday, DTE Energy publicly filed a proposed settlement agreement in a Michigan Public Service Commission case regarding their clean energy plans. As the result of Soulardarity’s engagement, the agreement includes a low-income renewable energy pilot that, if successful, will lead to three solar projects of over 250 KW being built in Highland Park, Detroit, and River Rouge. While the pilot makes some useful steps, it leaves a lot to be desired from the perspective of racial, economic, and environmental justice and energy democracy.

Soulardarity believes this proposal does not go far enough, and we are clear-eyed about why. DTE continues to spend excessively on fighting locally owned solar, slamming residential ratepayers with rate hikes they can’t afford for some of the worst service in the country, and selling the resulting debt to predatory collection agencies. We expect that DTE will continue to fight efforts for truly community-owned solar, while asking ratepayers to foot the bill for unnecessary fracked gas plants and pipelines.

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We’re growing our team for energy democracy - will you join us?

Soulardarity is hiring two new full-time positions (Deputy Director and Narrative Director) to start by June 1st 2021 as part of a major period of organizational growth and transformation. This packet has everything you need to know to apply. You can reach out to our current Executive Director, Jackson Koeppel, with questions: [email protected]

Click Here For The Packet with Job Descriptions & Application Instructions

Projected Timeline

  • Preferred deadline for Applications is April 30th at the latest. We will be considering applicants on a rolling basis.
  • Applicants will be scored and interviewed by the Soulardarity staff team. Primary contacts during the hiring process will be the Executive Director (Jackson Koeppel) and Deputy Director (Shimekia Nichols) whose emails are noted above.
  • For applicants who proceed to an interview, first round interviews will be held the week of May 3rd. For applicants who proceed to a second interview, those interviews will be held the week of May 10th. Applicants can expect a response or offer no later than May 21st, with a start date of June 1st. Any changes to this schedule will be communicated to applicants.
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Help us get $37,500 and say WE LIT AVALON!

In 2011 DTE Energy repossessed over 1,000 of Highland Park’s streetlights, leaving our kids and residents to live in the dark for almost a decade. We Lit Avalon! is a citizen-led campaign to bring solar-powered streetlights and connectivity to Avalon Village in Highland Park - a sustainable eco-village led by powerhouse resident, Mama Shu - to transform one of the city’s most blighted blocks into a safe, welcoming, and beautiful space for the entire community. 

With your support, we will:

  • purchase, install and maintain 5 solar-powered smart streetlights 
  • establish a free, public wifi mesh network to children, residents, and visitors
  • provide year-round safety, streetlighting, and internet for Avalon Village community centers and services
  • create a safe, walkable, and welcoming environment to host community gatherings and celebrations 
  • elevate Avalon Village as a landmark example of energy democracy and independence, and place-based equitable development for cities across the country 
  • provide Highland Park residents four essential connections: light, internet, dignity, and community

Photo courtesy of Model D Media

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Project Manager Request for Qualifications

Request for Qualifications: Project Manager

Soulardarity is seeking a highly qualified project manager to lead on the development and management of community projects. We are seeking a broad range of skills and experiences. Depending on responses to this RFQ, we may proceed with one or more hires. We are seeking applications from individuals and firms or companies who can provide these services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Highland Park Launches Just Recovery Task Force


News from Highland Park Community Crisis Coalition

July 6th, 2020


Jackson Koeppel, (917) 554-3741, [email protected]

Carlton Clyburn, (313) 282-4542, [email protected]

Margaret Lewis, (313) 231-2249, [email protected]


Highland Park Launches COVID-19 Just Recovery Task Force

Community, City Council come together to address the crisis

HIGHLAND PARK, MI – Today, Highland Park City Council approved  a resolution to form one of, if not the, first COVID-19 Just Recovery Task Force in the country.

The JRTF is a joint task force between the City Council and the Highland Park Community Crisis Coalition. It will coordinate relief efforts and community safety measures while developing a long-term Just Recovery Plan from the COVID-19 crisis.

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