Alabama Interfaith Power & Light (AIPL)
1500 Daniel Payne Drive, Suite 102
Birmingham, AL 35214
Rev. Michael Malcom, MDiv, MBA
AIPL Steering Committee
- Rev. Marie Bacchiocchi, Conference Minister, Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ
- Steven Baty, Engineer and original AIPL member
- Leslye Colvin, Outreach Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
- Kyle Crider, Energy/Green Building Consultant and original AIPL member
- Michael Hansen, Executive Director, GASP
- Rev. Mark Johnston, Executive Director, Camp McDowell
- Turethia Malcom, Lead Echo Sonographer, UAB
- Rev. Jermaine Richardson, Executive Director, Daniel Payne Foundation and Senior Pastor, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church of Taylorville
- Daniel Tait, Technical Director, Energy Alabama
- Rev. Cameron Thomas, Senior Pastor, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church
The mission of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to Climate Change through the promotion of environmental justice, energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy from a faith perspective.
Interfaith Power & Light is a religious response to global warming. This national network includes 40 state affiliates representing over 20,000 congregations. IPL conducts education and advocacy campaigns to engage faith communities in a religious response to global warming. State affiliates work with congregations to model energy stewardship in their communities.
History and Purpose
Originally organized in 2005, AIPL was an active statewide presence until 2011. AIPL has now been reorganized and reenergized by new executive director, Rev. Michael Malcom, and a dedicated steering committee representing a cross-section of business, nonprofit, and faith-based communities from across the state. AIPL will focus on engaging the entire state of Alabama in combating climate change. We will also work in coalition with North Carolina IPL South Carolina IPL, and Georgia IPL to address climate change and other environmental issues that affect the greater Southeast region.
Our overall goal is to engage all congregations of all faiths in the state of Alabama as AIPL members and active voices in the fight for environmental justice. We also aim for every house of worship in the state to take steps towards increasing their energy efficiency, beginning with completing an AIPL assisted energy efficiency audit. And, to make a commitment to the stewardship of Creation.
Our primary objective for the next twelve months will be to grow our infrastructure, resources, and network during 2018 so that we are well positioned to work towards fulfilling our mission both now and in the coming years. Major activities will include:
- Creating initial marketing materials, including fliers, website, and social media presence to introduce AIPL and promote our energy efficiency program
- Secure funding for initial AIPL operations
- Conduct faith listening tours throughout Alabama to engage initial members and partners
We will rely on guidance and expertise of our committed and professional steering committee.
We are engaging with numerous partners throughout the state to support environmental justice initiatives, including:
- 4 regional convening of Faith Leaders to strategize and mobilize communities to action around issues of Environmental Justice.
- Conducting environmental justice workshops and grassroots organizing workshops through the Justice First Tour in Birmingham on August 2, 2018.
- Convening in November with Sierra Club, Alabama River Alliance, GASP, Energy Alabama, Black Warrior River Keepers, Episcopal Diocese, African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ
Why does Alabama need AIPL?
Alabama has the lowest solar ratio in the region, producing less than half of the watts per customer than any other Southeastern state (Solar in the Southeast, 2017 Annual Report). Alabama IPL will work to support the growth of solar energy in Alabama by educating faith leaders and congregations on clean energy sources. We will provide resources and expertise for helping houses of worship become more energy efficient and employing clean energy sources, primarily solar, to meet their energy needs. We will also work with houses of worship to establish green teams that will lead their congregations in becoming better stewards of creation through education and advocacy. As our membership and resources grow, we also plan to address air quality concerns, food scarcity, and other persistent environmental issues in Alabama, a state that is deeply entrenched in the coal industry. As a faith based organization that addresses the faith community, we are the only nationally supported organization in Alabama that speaks directly to faith communities concerning these issues.
Rev. Michael Malcom, MDiv, MBA, describes himself as an “impassioned neophyte,” who through a position with Sustaining Way, the operating organization for South Carolina IPL, heard the message of Creation Care and Creation Justice and has vowed to spread to the message to all those who will listen. Since beginning his journey with Creation Justice last year, Michael has become an emerging leader in the environmental justice movement and was recently appointed to be the environmental justice representative for the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Michael is also the senior pastor of Rush Memorial Congregational Church in Atlanta, GA, and the founding director of Martha’s Corner, Inc., a human services agency serving urban Atlanta with a comprehensive network of services that helps lift families out of poverty. Michael’s work with Martha’s Corner has recently expanded to include extensive advocacy and grassroots organizing around social and environmental justice issues affecting Georgia and the Southeast. Michael organized the People’s Justice Council with faith and community leaders throughout the Southeast to empower vulnerable communities to make their voices heard by policy makers on matters of social and environmental justice. Michael’s varied experience is coalescing in a powerful way to create an unparalleled opportunity for faith communities in Alabama to unite and raise their voice against environmental injustice and climate change.