Happy September, MWBDC! 

It’s the season of back to school, cooler weather (finally!), and apple pie with hot coffee. After summer vacations and hot nights, September always feels like the month that brings busyness back into my life – and this year is no different! We have a lot going on with the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition, from evaluating all the funding applications received last month, finalizing details on upcoming events, and continuing our transition to an independent 501c3 (woohoo!)  

Continue reading for our monthly news roundup, information and registration for our November Justice40 Leadership Bootcamp event, recordings of recent trainings sessions, and more! 

In solidarity,  

– Marnese, Jacob, and Maggie 



This month, we are highlighting two MWBDC members – June Kelsaw and Madeleine McCullough. Learn more about them below.

June Kelsaw 

Hello, MWBDC friends, my name is June Kelsaw. I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where I currently live. I am married, we have one son, and one beautiful teenage granddaughter (smile). I accepted Christ at an early age, and enjoy serving Him, by serving others. I’ve learned that the hallmark of life is how God opens our hearts and eyes to the world around us, to serve all people. 

I am a graduate of the College of Biblical Studies and has conferred the degree of Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership (Summa Cum Laude). I am currently the Secretary/Admin. at my local Church (True Love Missionary Baptist Church) where I serve the Pastor, who also serves as the Moderator of our District (N.I.M.B.D.A) and as President of the Fort Wayne Baptist Ministers, and other Pastors and Ministers across the Midwest. 

What makes me excited about being a part of this coalition is that the mission of MWBDC aligns with my own personal mission and faith. And that is to use my voice to reach out to communities with an open arm of compassion, with the living word of God. It is also my moral responsibility to connect with people of faith, and all who will listen. It is also my spiritual responsibility to help against any injustice. 

This is why this work is important to me, it is because this work is a mandate from the creator, who has left us all stewards over this beautiful earth. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a monumental task, together we can make a difference. 

Madeleine McCullough 

As Program Coordinator and Analyst at the National Housing Trust, Madeleine supports engagement with affordable housing stakeholders in promoting energy efficiency and decarbonization efforts. She also works with Housing Finance Agencies and affordable housing developers in building their capacity to leverage resources through the Inflation Reduction Act. As the new co-lead for MWBDC’s Affordable Housing/QAP Working Group, she will continue to support the Coalition’s commitment to increasing deep energy efficiency and electrification measures on affordable housing projects. 

Madeleine has joined MWBDC as the leader of our QAP / Housing Working Group – thanks for your leadership, Madeleine! 



Save the date and register now for our Demystifying Justice40 Leadership Bootcamp! 

Join MWBDC on November 16th, 2023 for a day-long workshop all about how we can build capacity, grow expertise, and work towards equitably implementing the Justice40 Initiative

The bootcamp will be held from 9 AM – 4 PM EST, live on Zoom. We will be covering topics such as… 

  • What really is the Justice40 Initiative? How can we get engaged in ensuring that it is actually implemented and funds the people it is intended to benefit? 
  • Success stories from folks who have applied for (and won!) competitive grants 
  • Tips and tricks on crafting your applications and an overview of helpful tools 
  • How to craft your story – for an application, or to engage your community 

You also won’t want to miss our Keynote Speaker, Naomi Davis, Founder and CEO of Blacks in Green – who was recently awarded a $10 Million grant from the Biden Administration to help other Midwestern Environmental Justice groups apply for federal funding.  

We want everyone attending this bootcamp to feel confident in our collective power, equipped with resources, and ready to jump into doing the work – whether that’s applying for funding, educating your community on the opportunities available, or connecting with others in the region. More details on each session and speakers will be coming soon! 

Learn more on the website 

Register now!

The grants subcommittee is hard at work! 

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application for a participation stipend or an empowerment grant. Our grants review subcommittee has been hard at work going over the 120+ applications we received (!!!). We plan to notify applicants on September 15, 2023. If you have any questions or issues with your application, send an email to [email protected]!  

September Training

Thursday, September 7, 12:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM CST – Register Now! 

How is decarbonization different from efficiency? Why are Midwestern buildings so important? What’s all this about electrification? 

Join MWBDC’s Co-Director Jacob Serfling, Manager of Building Policy and Technology, for this overview of Building Decarbonization, and why it’s so critical to do well and to do equitably. 

August Recordings 
We had so many great trainings take place this August – check out all of the recordings here in case you were not able to join us live! 

Job Openings 

Do you have announcements for the next Newsletter? Share them with Maggie at [email protected]



Environmental and Climate Justice Syllabus – Just Environment Labs 

“The goal of the Environmental and Climate Justice Syllabus is to assemble readings, articles, case studies, and biographies from key writers, scholars, and activists working for environmental freedom (to borrow Malini Ranganathan’s phrase!). Our emphasis, here, is to generate a searchable and citable list of Black, Indigenous, and/or Latinx individuals, organizations, and movements which are indispensably foundational in the continued fight for environmental and climate justice. We are also expanding the syllabus to represent more non-US/non-Global North scholars. We also provide a few (not too many!) resources from allies whose work is deeply engaged throughout the syllabus. 

We also have an affectation for planning, urban studies, and/or ecological perspectives on these topics given the emphases of our work. Lastly, we freely mix resources on environmental justice, climate justice, and (increasingly) disaster, energy, and food justice to emphasize the interconnections between these movements in the wake of climate change.” 

Clean Jobs Midwest 

Clean Jobs Midwest details the size of the clean energy sector. Want to learn more about clean energy employment in your state – and across the Midwest? Check out their interactive website with clean energy job stats for individual states across our region.  

Webinar: Combining Incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act, Tax Credits and Other Sources – Department of Energy 

Register for this webinar taking place on September 28 at 1 PM EST / 12 PM CST.  

“Multiple incentives exist for residential energy efficiency, but what is the best way to combine them? What does the guidance from the federal government say? What is still unclear? Learn more about a topic that will probably be discussed for some time to come.” Register here!  

Minnesota – New Energy Programs  

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is setting up numerous new energy programs passed by the 2023 Minnesota Legislature and signed into law by Governor Walz. This website serves as a hub for all these new programs – you can find information on EV and Heat Pump rebates, Solar for Schools, Energy Upgrade Grants, and more!  



MPSC encouraging people to suggest penalties, incentives to improve DTE, Consumers reliability Michigan Radio, August 31, 2023  

It may have just gotten harder to protect minority communities from pollution News From the States, August 30, 2023  

New settlement agreement aims to put spotlight on DTE-linked dark money Energy News Network, August 28, 2023  

Michigan Dems rally around bills aimed at increasing access to solar energy Michigan Advance, August 25, 2023  

Pilot project combines solar and farming Kare11, August 26, 2023 

Utility efficiency spending falls, leading to 5.4% drop in energy savings: ACEEE Utility Dive, August 25, 2023  

After America’s summer of extreme weather, ‘next year may well be worse’ The Guardian, August 26, 2023  

How a climate-fueled disaster led a native Detroiter to a career helping her neighbors Energy News Network, August 25, 2023  

University of Minnesota launches environmental justice center to help underserved communities Sahan Journal, August 24, 2023  

‘It’s a beast’: landmark US climate law is too complex, environmental groups say The Guardian, August 23, 2023  

Brite Receives $100K to Build Diverse Pipeline of Entrepreneurs Business Journal Daily, August 24, 2023  

Why efficient buildings are key to decarbonizing the power grid Canary Media, August 22, 2023  

In Hawaii, concerns over ‘climate gentrification’ rise after devastating Maui fires AP News, August 18, 2023  

40 percent of US climate emissions attributed to richest households: study The Hill, August 17, 2023  

Maui wildfires spark new fears about outdated U.S. power grid AXIOS, August 18, 2023  

NOPEC responds to critique, avows commitment to clean energy and serving member communities Ohio Capital Journal, August 18, 2023  

The Dirty Work Of Building Clean Energy Is Dividing This Michigan Town HuffPost, August 16, 2023  

Michigan Dem leaders tout climate, health initiatives in the Inflation Reduction Act’s first year Michigan Advance, August 16, 2023  

Why John Podesta thinks the Inflation Reduction Act is the next Obamacare  

Grist, August 16, 2023  

US launches program to provide electricity to more Native American homes AP News, August 15, 2023  

Grueling heat takes toll on outside workers’ physical and mental health AXIOS, August 15, 2023 

Chicago Looks to Overhaul Its Zoning and Land Use Policies to Address Environmental Discrimination Inside Climate News, August 15, 2023  

Montana judge sides with youth in historic climate trial GreenWire, August 15, 2023  

US climate law introduces billion-dollar ‘game-changer’ for nonprofits Canary Media, August 15, 2023  

‘The Velvet Hammer’: Tina Smith Is The Senate’s Rising Progressive Powerhouse HuffPost, August 14, 2023  

Democrats’ climate law set off a wave of energy projects in GOP districts. A backlash followed. Politico, August 13, 2023  

The Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think The New York Times, August 17, 2023  

Department of Energy earmarks $46M to reduce energy waste in buildings Utility Dive, August 10, 2023  

Maui wildfires death toll rises to 55; rebuilding will cost billions, governor says The Washington Post, August 11, 2023 

Whitmer administration backs more aggressive Michigan clean energy standard M Live, August 10, 2023 

How COVID and Biden’s climate law could usher in an era of green housing AXIOS, August 8, 2023  

Minnesota electric co-ops seek $970M in federal clean energy funds Energy News Netowrk, August 9, 2023  

Muncie adopts first climate action plan Indiana Public Radio, August 8, 2023  

Opinion | Ban investor-owned utilities from funding political campaigns Bridge Michigan, August 7, 2023 

Ann Arbor-area couple wanted a home ‘for the journey.’ It’s among the greenest in the world M Live, August 14, 2023  

US utilities oppose Biden efforts to make gas power plants cleaner The Guardian, August 7, 2023  

Illinois ‘most promising state’ for clean energy investments, Pritzker says in Decatur stop The Pantagraph, August 2, 2023  

New Michigan budget includes funding for energy, water and other environmental priorities  Michigan Advance, August 3, 2023  

I’m a climate alarmist (and you should be too), but we aren’t dead yet Virginia Mercury, August 3, 2023  

Chicago to pay for electric stoves, heat pumps for lower-income homes Energy News Network, July 31, 2023  

FirstEnergy facing organized crime probe from AG’s office over bribes to Ohio officials Cleveland.com August 2, 2023  

Climate change is hitting close to home for nearly 2 out of 3 Americans, poll finds PBS, August 3, 2023