A celebration of community and renewable energy at Powerfest

This article was written by Karsten Beling

PowerFest was a success on June 12! PowerFest was organized by dozens of environmental organizations including MN Renewable Now, Minneapolis Climate Action, the Sierra Club, Family of Trees, Voice of Culture and many more. Held at North Commons Park, the purpose of the event was for environmental organizations to come together and connect the Northside community to resources so they can lead a more sustainable life and join the environmental justice movement. The event included several performers including Rachel Guertin, Claire Johnson as well as speakers such as MN Renewable Now’s Executive Director and City Council candidate, Kristel Porter.

Porter, who grew up in North Minneapolis, expressed how exciting it was to connect her community members to these environmental organizations because the “Northside is often overlooked by environmental education and resources.” Porter described how “these environmental organizations that have overlooked communities of color wanted to make connections with the Northside but didn’t know where to begin, and PowerFest was that starting point.” Porter said that PowerFest was essential in that process because “In North Minneapolis, we need someone we know and someone we trust to engage with us at our doorstep.”

MN Renewable Now’s Vice-Chair, Director of Youth M’Power, and Family of Trees’s Board Chair, Analyah Schlaeger Dos Santos, shared the message that events like PowerFest are imperative because they bring non-North Minneapolis residents to see the “vibrant and lush community that has been growing” here.

Another Northside community member, Raki Williams, enjoyed attending PowerFest “because it was a family-oriented and friendly space.” Williams also said they loved the opportunity to test their son’s lead levels because “the Northside is being poisoned left and right.”

Porter and Schlaeger Dos Santos are very excited for next year’s PowerFest which will be bigger and better! If you are interested in being a partner or an event sponsor contact Kristel Porter at kristel@mnrenewablenow.org. If you are interested in attending follow MN Renewable Now on Facebook at facebook.com/MNRenewableNow for updates.