CELI and Michael Roberson – theologian, public health practitioner, activist, artist, curator, cultural advisor and leader within the LGBTQ and House Ball community – will work together to support the development of a new energy education component within the Ballroom Freedom School’s civic participation curriculum.

The transgender, lesbian, bisexual and gay, African-American and Latino men and women who form the House Ballroom Community (HBC) sustain some of the highest rates of suicide, violence, housing insecurity, HIV infection, stigma, and energy burdens that will only be exacerbated by climate change. The HBC's own historical, protective response to this marginalization has been the creation of self-sustaining sanctuaries—formations of “Houses” and gatherings at “Balls”—an artistic collective and kinship system that has grown over the past 100 years into a strong network of LGBTQII persons of color. The leadership of the House Ball Community (HBC) has already been working to create a portable leadership development training built upon the practices of HBC self-organizing; the Ballroom Freedom School is a set of practices rooted in the HBC’s traditions of skills exchange, collective learning, and self-organizing–practices.

By introducing a relevant curriculum around energy issues, utilizing CELI’s energy education experience, CELI will work with Michael Roberson and the Ballroom Freedom School to support organic organizers in the House Ball Community to become engaged in the climate challenge.

Roger Sorkin's America Resilience Project (ARP is another current ITP Grant Partner, click here for more information) will also be a primary collaborator on this project. ARP understands the unique power of film and short videos to draw new voices into conversations around clean energy, sustainability and environmental justice. ARP will partner with CELI and Michael Roberson on a pilot micro-documentary project to create the narrative of how the House Ball Community (HBC) is navigating the clean energy transition at the intersection of energy justice and health, housing, and safety.