ICA and three community organizations that are members of ICA's accelerate77 Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN)--the Chinese American Service League (Chinatown), Centers for New Horizons (Bronzeville), and Neighborhood Housing Services (Chicago Lawn)--have been awarded a $180,000 grant from ISEIF, the Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation, to continue to integrate Smart Grid consumer education into ongoing efforts to become neighborhood-based sustainability hubs. The group will continue to collaborate with University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) who will share their approaches to campus outreach with the group as well as provide interns for community outreach at each partner site.
The 2016 program year will build on 2015 learnings on culturally and community appropriate messaging on energy and Smart Grid. ICA staff will train the partners in ICA’s image shift methodology to identify new messages that help cultivate energy-active self stories of their residents. Belinda Li of Citta Partnerships, also a CSLN member, will evaluate the impact of the different messages on behavior change. At the end of 2016, a toolkit will be produced so that other ISEIF grantees and community educators can learn about how to more effectively work with particular communities.