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Promoting Energy Efficiency through Strategic Storytelling

Grassroots clean energy outreach to underserved communities in California

Woman talking to man and woman at a table with flyers

The impacts of climate change and economic and racial inequality are inextricably linked. Interdisciplinary academic research institutions such as the Bren School are examining these problems through a more holistic lens to better illustrate their cascading effects. However, placing these issues within the context of our everyday lives can often be difficult. Moving research findings from the ivory tower vacuum to public discourse is an effort that requires strategic and compelling storytelling.  

Master of Environmental Science and Management students in the Strategic Environmental Communication Focus (BrenComm) work on projects that aim to do just this, collaborating with clients on real-world environmental communication challenges.

With funding support from Southern California Edison, a BrenComm student team worked with outreach program emPOWER to develop an outreach strategy for spreading awareness of, and promoting enrollment in, state and federally-funded clean energy programs for income eligible, Latino/a and communities of color in California – specifically LA, the Inland Empire, and the Central Valley. 

Through partnerships with Liberty Hill Foundation and the Center for Sustainable Energy, BrenComm students created tailored marketing materials including informational flyers and promotional videos such as this one.

emPOWER: A Community Campaign

The mission of the emPOWER campaign is to achieve a clean and equitable energy future for all! This campaign is truly a community effort, from the community-based organizations signing people up for energy programs, to the families taking advantage of everything from new solar panels to new electric vehicles! View on YouTube

Students have the chance to share their finished products internally and with their supporters at exclusive and public Bren School events, including the Development team’s Annual Donor Recognition Reception and BrenComm’s Final Capstone Project Presentations

These projects provide students with valuable opportunities to refine their environmental communication chops, and enhance BrenComm’s portfolio and overall effectiveness. Their client, Southern California Edison, gains access to cutting-edge research, insights, and deliverables, as well as networking opportunities, brand exposure, and a talented pool of environmental professionals. Overall, their cross-sector partnership drives environmental awareness and solutions.

Want to get involved? Reach out to the Bren School for more information about partnership opportunities.

Lotus Vermeer

Assistant Dean of Partnerships & Development
(805) 893-3712

Beth Pitton-August

Director of Development
(805) 893-5047

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