Jackson Koeppel is Soulardarity's Executive Director. He grew up in Manhattan, went to college in Oberlin, OH, and woke up in West Virginia. He has been working on environmental justice issues since seeing the impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Ohio. He is working on Soulardarity because he believes that we need concrete alternatives to the fossil fuel economy that work for communities, and that the communities most negatively impacted are going to lead the creation of those alternatives. He has received numerous accolades and acknowledgements for his work, including the Brower Youth Award 2014, the Vehicle of Change contest in 2017, and the Detroit Innovation Fellowship. In addition to his work with Soulardarity, he is a Wayne State student, member of Resource Generation, and avid collector of Hawaiian shirts.
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Shimekia Nichols is Soulardarity's Communications Coordinator. You can read her full bio here.
"I became interested in the works of Soulardarity as first an energy consumer and when the opportunity arose to speak on behalf of the people I couldn't let the moment pass by to contribute to the unification for energy democracy. I am a full-time activist, mother, life-long learner, experienced facilitator, writer, entrepreneur and SCAO (State Court Admin Office) certified Mediator. You can be assured of excellent work, dedication and passion. I look forward to getting to know each of you better and capitalizing on our unique strengths to ignite the community and push this movement further."
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Maria Thomas is the Outreach and Organizing Coordinator for Soulardarity, a young, growing, small, but mighty Energy Democracy non-profit with a focus on solar, birthed out of crisis, created when DTE repossessed 2/3 of the street lights from residential communities in Highland Park, MI. With a life-long passion for civil rights, teamed with an enthusiasm for solar, concern for the health of the Earth and those that dwell upon it, this native Detroiter is seeking to improve the quality of life for all in her beloved community…and beyond. This beloved community includes Highland Park and anywhere injustice is poured upon People. Seeing vision manifest into reality encourages Maria to continue fighting the Good fight, strengthening the community, coalescing with friends, partners and allies to learn, inform, advocate, prepare and act to create a more holistic, equitable and sustainable environment. Maria is also Soulardarity’s PowerUP Bulk Buy Program Lead, organized by Soulardarity’s Members in response to the urgent need to provide lighting security to their property and lighting safety for People traversing the streets, particularly on foot. PowerUP puts vetted solar products within reach of community members while training and hiring workforce from the community it serves. Now, striving to create a holistic, equitable and sustainable Energy Democracy and Economy, the opportunities (harvest) are great, but the workers are few and not diverse enough. There is much work to do, so…Maria will continue…to do.
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