rural renaissance roadshow



The Organizer

Groundswell is a 501c3 nonprofit that builds community power through equitable community solar projects and resilience centers, clean energy programs that reduce energy burdens, and pioneering research initiatives that help light the way to clean energy futures for all. Groundswell leads clean energy programs and projects in five states including the District of Columbia, providing low- and moderate-income households more than $8 million in clean energy savings to date. Find out more details here.


Special Thanks

We wanted to provide a special thanks to designer Summer Wood for her graphic designs.


Rural Renaissance

Revitalizing America's Hometowns through Clean Power

By L. Michelle Moore

Michelle Moore is author of “Rural Renaissance” and CEO of Groundswell, a 501(c)(3) that builds community power by eliminating energy burdens and increasing economic opportunity with community solar, resilience centers, residential energy efficiency, and pioneering research. A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from cutting the government’s energy bill by $11 billion and deploying 3.2 Gigawatts of new renewable energy for President Obama, to developing LEED into a globally recognized brand for USGBC. Michelle also serves as a Senate-confirmed member of the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors and as Secretary of the Board for the Interdenominational Theological Center. Her work is rooted in her faith and the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Mothers of the Movement

We are committed to celebrating legacy, justice, and wisdom in the Environmental Justice Movement. As we continue to advance environmental equity, it is important to honor our elders who have paved the way for us. We are highlighting our “Mothers of the Movement” Dr. Mildred McClain and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley in a two part mini series. We thank them for bringing their wisdom to the 2023 Rural Renaissance Roadshow.

Watch Dr. McClain’s keynote here.

Dr. Mildred McClain, who is also known as Mama Bahati, is a Distinguished Fellow for Movement Elders at Groundswell. Dr. McClain is a 50-year veteran of the People’s Movement for Justice and Self-Determination worldwide. Dianne Dillon-Ridgely is the very definition of a changemaker. In the last forty years Dianne has been a dedicated Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist at the forefront of society's shift from an industrial one to one focused on sustainability.

Program Structure

What you can expect at the Rural Renaissance Roadshows

Program Tracks

Technical & Funding Support Workshops

The following books were included in 2023 registration.

Rural Renaissance

For decades, we’ve heard that local, renewable power is on the horizon, and cheaper technologies will one day revolutionize our energy system. Michelle Moore has spent her career proving this opportunity is already here—and any community, no matter how small, can build their own clean energy future.

Healing Grounds

Liz Carlisle tells the stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers who are reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food—techniques long suppressed by the industrial food system. These farmers are restoring native prairies, nurturing beneficial fungi, and enriching soil health.

Recast Your City

Too many U.S. cities and towns have been focused on a model of economic development that relies on recruiting one big company (such as Amazon), a single industry (usually in technology), or pursuing other narrow or short-term fixes that are inequitable and unsustainable.

Reclaiming Your City

Majora Carter shows how brain drain cripples low-status communities and maps out a development strategy focused on talent retention to help them break out of economic stagnation.