"Our mission is to engage, educate, and empower citizens to take action and achieve energy independence in a healthier, more sustainable environment."
The ReThink Energy Florida family is comprised of two distinct but connected organizations – ReThink Energy Florida, our 501(c)(3) educational charity founded in 2010, and ReThink Energy Action Fund, our 501(c)(4) social welfare advocacy organization founded in 2016.
After the Deepwater Horizon disaster on April 20, 2010, many Floridians were left feeling hopeless and helpless, and wanting to take action to help ensure that Florida’s environment and economy were protected from the adverse effects of risky fossil fuel development. Founders Kim Ross and Brian Lee, operating as Crude Awakening Tallahassee, organized letter writing parties to engage citizens in demanding that then Governor Charlie Crist call a special session of the Florida legislature to place a referendum for constitutionally banning offshore drilling on the ballot. Although we did not get the legislative results we set out for, we did connect people from all over Florida with their legislators and began building a network of citizens willing to educate and engage on energy and environmental issues.
Crude Awakening Tallahassee soon re-branded as ReThink Energy Florida, incorporating education and positive actions towards energy independence through clean, renewable energy development as well as continuing to warn Floridians of the dangers involved in the development and use of fossil fuels.
Our programs consist of a Youth Education and Outreach Program, an Adult Education and Outreach Program, an Advocacy Engagement Program, and our excellent intern program. Under our Youth Education and Outreach, our annual Summer Energy Camp for rising 3rd through 6th graders teaches children through hands-on experiences about the relationship between energy and transportation, food, and waste. Our classroom outreach program brings STEM based education on renewable energy to thousands of children annually. Also, as part of youth education, we host an annual Energy Whiz Expo, where children race solar cars or participate in a solar cook-off.
Pictured: Energy Camp 2017
Our Adult Education and outreach program features a series of adult educational events, such as lunch and learns and similar lectures hosted at our chapters statewide. The adult education program also hosts workshops on solar energy, including our signature solar charger workshop. Finally, the adult education program provides citizens with the skills they need to effectively engage their elected leaders in discussions on energy policy. A featured project for the adult education program is the Sea Level Rise Project, which uses digital and earned media, tele pressers and traditional press events, and sea level rise forums to educate citizens and leaders alike.
Pictured: Oak Ridge Elementary Presentation and Activities 2017
Finally, our Internship program provides college students and others with valuable and fulfilling work experience that benefits their careers. Interns gain networking experience and have the chance to begin developing and expanding their network for their future endeavors. Our intern program is a cohesive unit: interns develop key skills in teamwork,communication and delegation. Perhaps most importantly, interns see the changes they’re capable of making based on their hard work and dedication.
ReThink Energy Action Fund was founded in 2016 with a focus on advocacy. We’ve organized voters to defeat a bad solar amendment, and fought against fracking and for renewable energy in the halls of the Florida legislature. Together, the ReThink Energy Florida organizations engage, educate and empower citizens to take action and achieve energy independence in a healthier, more sustainable environment.
Pictured: Rally to Ban Fracking 2017