Evolve Houston's new executive director launches the eMobility Microgrant Initiative at Evolve Event
Evolve Houston's new President and Executive Director Casey Brown announced an all-new Equity Program with the launch of the eMobility Microgrant Initiative funded by Evolve Corporate Catalysts, General Motors and bp. This initiative will facilitate a peer-review process to award microgrants to local electromobility "eMobility" projects that address community mobility needs in the Greater Houston area. Grant applications are now available online at apply.evolvehouston.org.
Evolve Houston is a nonprofit organization focused on improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by supporting and enabling the Greater Houston area to increase EV adoption.
"Evolve Houston is committed to supporting a just transition to a more sustainable transportation system, so all residents can receive the benefits of eMobility. The Greater Houston area has made significant progress in improving livability. We must continue and bring the eMobility revolution to Houston's communities that remain disproportionately in need of a cleaner environment, better services, and diversified economic development," said Grace Millsap, Evolve Houston Director of Equity and Investment. "Evolve's eMobility Microgrant Initiative will empower and elevate residents' voices, drive further community investment, and prioritize the communities who are most impacted by climate and mobility challenges."
Evolve established the Equity Program to address poor air quality and limited access to public transportation in vulnerable communities. Through the eMobility Microgrant Initiative, Evolve will invest in local community-led efforts focused on increasing access to all forms of electric mobility and EV charging stations. This initiative will provide additional support to mitigate the negative long-term effects of environmental injustices experienced within these communities.
"The Complete Communities Initiative bridges the gap between equity and opportunity for our city's most under-resourced and underserved neighborhoods. Residents living in the Complete Communities have made it clear that its past time to address the transportation and climate change challenges that impact their quality of life," said Shannon Buggs, Director of the Mayor's Office for Complete Communities. "Increasing chronic air pollution and lack of equitable mobility has disproportionately affected low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. With the help of community leaders, the Evolve Houston Equity Program provides a pathway for our City to ensure that every resident lives in a healthy, sustainable and thriving community."
Evolve's Equity Program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost economic activity in Houston's historically underserved neighborhoods. Microgrant funding opportunities are set to open in fall 2022.
Evolve's Equity Corporate Catalysts, GM and bp, have catapulted the Equity Program forward with generous contributions. Funds raised will make a direct impact within the underserved regions of Houston.
"bp is proud to support Evolve in addressing one of the key challenges of the global energy transition: making sure low-carbon energy investment gets to areas that need it most," said Emily Leung, VP of bp pulse Americas, bp's EV charging brand that is part of bp's ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and help the world get there too. "This program is a small but important step in that direction for the City of Houston, and we wish Evolve every success with the launch."
"As we look ahead toward an all-electric future, we recognize how important it is for communities to have a strong voice, and resources, to implement community-level changes that work for their specific needs," said Jessica James, senior manager, GM Climate Equity Fund and Disaster Relief.
Evolve is continuing their fundraising efforts for the eMobility Microgrant Initiative. Click here to learn more about joining the Equity Program as a Corporate Catalyst.
Evolve is also in the process of recruiting "Community Champions," individuals who will review microgrant applications, advocate on behalf of their community, and identify projects that maximize value and impact for their neighborhoods. Evolve is currently seeking to connect with community-led organizations and nonprofits to support the recruitment of Community Champions. Click here to learn more about becoming or nominating a Community Champion.
The Equity Program is rooted from Evolve's studies of the EV charging station growth rate in the Greater Houston area, which highlighted that the array of existing and planned EV charging stations is highly concentrated in and around high income communities. This reflects an inequitable investment in low-income, minority, and other frontline communities.
Transportation now accounts for 48% of total GHG emissions within the City of Houston. Low-income and predominantly BIPOC neighborhoods disproportionately bear the impact of climate and mobility injustices and, historically, have not been given a voice in infrastructure decisions necessary to correct these injustices.