Press Release  |  March 15, 2022

Project Drawdown launches “Drawdown’s Neighborhood”

Across the United States, individuals are working each and every day to reduce the threat of climate change in their cities and communities. Drawdown Stories, a new initiative of Project Drawdown, aims to showcase their work and inspire others by passing the mic to the climate problem-solvers whose voices and stories often go unheard.

Launching today, Drawdown’s Neighborhood is a new short documentary series featuring the stories of climate solutions heroes, city-by-city. The series is rooted in the guiding principle of “Climate Solutions in Color,” Project Drawdown’s commitment to “pass the mic” to the climate stories that often go unheard. The first season features individuals, most of whom are from underrepresented groups, mobilizing electric vehicle fleets, retrofitting buildings, and advancing other climate solutions in Pittsburgh, a city with a deep history in coal and steel.

In the spirit of Pittsburgh native Mister Rogers, this series showcases the diverse “neighborhood” of people working to help the world reach drawdown, the future point when greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere start to steadily decline.

Drawdown’s Neighborhood: Pittsburgh features 11 stories of how people from all over the city are mobilizing to fuel a green future—leveraging Pittsburgh’s innovative spirit for much-needed change.

The stories center the voices of women, Black people, people of color, immigrants, and others who are often not represented in the climate dialogue and yet are commonly most immediately and severely vulnerable to the impacts of climate catastrophe.The series features:

  • Clara Kitongo, Program Coordinator at Tree Pittsburgh
  • Sarah Olexsak, Manager of Transportation Electrification at Duquesne Light Company
  • Erica Cochran Hameen, Assistant Professor & Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture
  • Richard Tumushime, Head Electrician at Energy Independent Solutions
  • Angie Martinez, Senior Right-of-Way Manager at the City of Pittsburgh
  • Tom Mulholland, Senior Project Manager at Grounded Strategies
  • Brandon Walton, Fleet Manager with the City of Pittsburgh
  • Alexis Cromer, Food Operations Director at 412 Food Rescue
  • Paige Anderson, Project Manager at the City of Pittsburgh, Department of Mobility and Infrastructure
  • Shawn Taylor, Crew Leader at Landforce
  • Veni Mittal, Former Energy Audits Associate at Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh; Community Service Chair at the Green Building Alliance

Drawdown’s Neighborhood is hosted by Matt Scott, manager of storytelling and engagement at Project Drawdown. Scott is also the creator and host of Let’s Care, where he has interviewed and learned from 100+ unlikely or underrepresented changemakers since 2017.

“I want people to see themselves and their power. As a young, Black, queer person who’s also a storyteller, I’ve been acutely aware of how the climate conversation traditionally hasn’t centered underrepresented voices,” said Scott. “This is not only a problem because Black communities, Indigenous communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups are often the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but also because these communities are the most underutilized in surfacing solutions. Representation matters everywhere, including the climate space, and if we want to tap into our full power to address climate change, we need to center those whose power has often been underrepresented and underestimated.”

In addition to the featured videos, the Drawdown’s Neighborhood site includes discussion prompts to engage classrooms or communities in dialogue around each episode. And there are resource links to help individuals and others take action to address climate change.

Future Drawdown’s Neighborhood cities will be announced later this year. To learn more and stay up to date, please visit drawdown.org/neighborhood.

About Drawdown Stories

Drawdown Stories identifies and produces multimedia stories as a bridge between the science-based solutions of Project Drawdown and the people looking for their own roles in the climate solutions space. This work provides an entry point for a diverse range of people through tangible examples of climate solutions being implemented today. Our work showcases the various people in climate careers that help make drawdown possible. The guiding principle of Drawdown Stories is “Climate Solutions in Color.” Through Climate Solutions in Color, we work to “pass the mic” to the climate heroes who often go unheard.

About Project Drawdown

Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown”—the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. Cities, universities, corporations, philanthropies, policymakers, communities, educators, activists, and more turn to Project Drawdown as they look to advance effective climate action. We aim to support the growing constellation of efforts to move climate solutions forward and move the world toward drawdown—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Project Drawdown is funded by individual and institutional donations.

Press Contacts

If you are a journalist and would like Project Drawdown updates and/or digital assets for editorial use, please contact press@drawdown.org.

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