Non-profit

Virginia Interfaith Power & Light

Website:

vaipl.org/

Location:

Richmond, VA

Tax ID:

54-1362857

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $445,417
Expenses: $393,351
Assets: $849,996

Formation:

2004

Directors:

Kendyl Crawley Crawford (VAIPL)

Kim Bobo (VICPP)

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (VAIPL), , is a left-of-center environmentalist group based in Richmond, Virginia that organizes outreach to church congregations and other religious and religious-aligned groups throughout the state of Virginia. VAIPL is administered in association with two left-leaning organizations: Interfaith Power and Light national chapter and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP). [1]

VAIPL is a self-described “proud coalition partner”[2] with the Virginia New Green Deal Coalition which advocates for radical-left environmentalist legislation which, among other things, advocates for the United States to eliminate the use of conventional energy sources. The Virginia New Green Deal Coalition is a state coalition supporting and inspired by federal-level “Green New Deal” legislation sponsored by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). [3]

Founding and History

In 1998, an Episcopal church in California first started Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) endeavor to promote the purchase of environmentalist-aligned energy. Environmental activist and Episcopal Reverend Sally Bingham spearheaded the movement in San Francisco, persuading 60 churches to urge their congregations to become actively involved in environmentalist activism on climate issues. This grew into a national effort, claiming affiliation with more than 20,000 congregations in 40 states. [4]

The Virginia chapter of Interfaith Power and Light was founded in 2004; it did not gain footing until 2015 when a group of board leaders reorganized the chapter. Today VAIPL is not only advised by its own steering committee, which includes several inter-denominational members, it is also governed by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Board of Directors, which includes 27 members, three of whom also sit on the VAIPL Steering Committee. [5]

VAIPL collaborates with more than 200 congregations and faith communities in Virginia outside the northern Virginia region, which has its own chapter of Interfaith Power and Light. [6]

Activism

Confederate Statues

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light and the associated Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy not only take environmentalist actions on climate change, but also take a left-of-center activist stance on racial issues. In September 2017 at the “Richmond Stands United For Racial Justice” march and rally,[7]

VAIPL held activism trainings as part of a protest of the Monument Avenue statue of Confederate military leader Robert E. Lee. The co-coordinator of the event, Richmond Peace Education Center’s Director Adria Scharf told the crowd attending the event: “We stand committed to building a just and equitable Richmond in which every child regardless of race or zip code has full access to hope, opportunity and safety. And we stand committed to building a region and a city that is truly free of white supremacy.” [8]

At the same event, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy’s Lana Heath de Martinez stated that “white supremacy is at the root of economic injustice, anti-immigrant sentiments, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” [9]

COVID-19 Pandemic

VAIPL and its sister organization, VACPP, have taken an activist approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, as illustrated in a column in the left-leaning online outlet Virginia Mercury co-authored by VAIPL executive director Kendyl Crawford and VACPP board chair Faith Harris. In the column, titled “Inequality, Race and COVID-19”, Crawford and Harris write: “For those of us working towards a healthy climate and environmental justice, the high vulnerability of people of color, especially for the African American, Native American, and Latino communities, to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is just one of the inevitable outcomes we anticipated.” [10]

The COVID-19 pandemic gave the two activists an opportunity to promote their support for the Green New Deal. In their Virginia Mercury article, the duo writes: “Through this crisis it has become apparent that we need to take an approach in our policymaking that prioritizes caring for our neighbors and caring for Creation — like the Green New Deal that would expand health care coverage while also addressing worker rights and safety.” [11]

VAIPL takes a left-of-center position on immigration, tying expanding international migration to environmentalist issues.  In an interview for Blue Virginia, VAIPL’s Communication and Assistant Director, Elizabeth Stevens stated: “Many Virginians aren’t aware of the negative consequences of our energy choices as a society and how they exacerbate other issues that people of faith are already working on, such as hunger, sickness, clean water, immigration, refugees, and global conflict.” [12]

Leadership

With the merging of Virginia Interfaith Power and Light and Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, leadership is shared among two activists: Kendyl Crawley (of VAIPL) Crawford and Kim Bobo (of VICPP).

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light has been led by its director Kendyl Crawley Crawford since January of 2018. Crawford is a member of the NAACP and strongly advocates that global warming has a pronounced negative effect on impoverished communities. [13]

In an interview with Energy News, Crawford stated, “Whatever climate solutions we embrace, we need to make sure low-income people, people of color and children — those often the most impacted — are at the forefront with solutions.” Crawford added, “Climate change is exacerbating issues such as clean water, conflict, sickness, immigration and refugees that people of faith have worked on for a long time.” [14]

As executive director of Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), Kim Bobo took on new responsibility with the merging of VICPP and VAIPL in December of 2018. Bobo took the reins of VICPP in February 2016. [15] Bobo supports government-run healthcare; she actively promoted the Healthcare for All Virginians coalition advocating Medicaid expansion for the state of Virginia, which passed in 2018. Bobo, a longtime left-wing activist, married longtime Chicago Democratic politician David Duvall Orr in 2017; Orr has served as an Alderman, acted as mayor of Chicago, and was Cook County Clerk until stepping aside in the 2018 elections. [16]

Faith Harris, VAIPL Steering Committee member, also serves on the board of directors of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP). Harris, an Assistant Professor at Virginia Union University, teaches “systematic, eco, and womanist/feminist theologies.” [17] Harris has served as the chair of the Virginia Interfaith Power & Light since 2016. She has also served on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Environmental Justice under Govs. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Ralph Northam (D). [18]

Partnership Program

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light fosters climate change activism through its “Partnership Program,”  through which it offers partners “access to the latest news, information, opportunities, and programs from VAIPL.” [19] VAIPL is also pro-active in advancing its agenda by offering “green leader trainings to help…start a green team”[20] as well arranging guest speakers and events educating congregations on “the environment, sustainability, or climate change.” [21]

VAIPL requires partner congregations or communities to appoint someone as a liaison to communicate VIAPL programs and events with their congregation or community as well as offer workshops and projects and coordinate “meetings with decision-makers on the moral call to care for Creation.” [22] VAIPL partners are asked to support VAIPL financially by having an annual service, as well as a special event, where the monetary offerings go directly to the VAIPL chapter.  VAIPL offers three tiers of involvement including Water of Life (a financial contribution is requested, but not mandatory); Mighty Tree (a financial contribution of  up to $500 is required, as well as the hosting of a community educational event); and Radiating Light (a financial contribution of $500 or more is required, as well as the hosting of a community educational event.)[23]

VAIPL lists four partner communities on its website: Rockfish Presbyterian Church, Nellysford, Nelson County; Church of the Holy Family Catholic Church, Virginia Beach; St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg; and Westminster Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville. [24]

References

  1. “About.” Virginia Interfaith Center, May 25, 2020. https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/about. ^
  2. “2020 General Assembly Priorities.” VAIPL. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://vaipl.org/ga2020/. ^
  3. Friedman, Lisa. “What Is the Green New Deal? A Climate Proposal, Explained.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 21, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/21/climate/green-new-deal-questions-answers.html. ^
  4. Harball, Elizabeth. “Do Religion and Climate Change Mix?” Scientific American. Scientific American, February 26, 2013. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-religion-and-climate-change-mix/. ^
  5. “Board of Directors.” Virginia Interfaith Center, May 4, 2020. https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/about/board-of-directors/. ^
  6. “About Us.” VAIPL. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://vaipl.org/about-us/. ^
  7. “Richmond Groups Lead Peaceful Racial Justice Rally from Maggie Walker Statue to Monument Avenue.” VPM.org. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://vpm.org/news/articles/9075/richmond-groups-lead-peaceful-racial-justice-rally-from-maggie-walker-statue-to. ^
  8. “Richmond Groups Lead Peaceful Racial Justice Rally from Maggie Walker Statue to Monument Avenue.” VPM.org. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://vpm.org/news/articles/9075/richmond-groups-lead-peaceful-racial-justice-rally-from-maggie-walker-statue-to. ^
  9. “Richmond Groups Lead Peaceful Racial Justice Rally from Maggie Walker Statue to Monument Avenue.” VPM.org. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://vpm.org/news/articles/9075/richmond-groups-lead-peaceful-racial-justice-rally-from-maggie-walker-statue-to. ^
  10. -, Ned Oliver. “Inequality, Race and COVID-19.” Virginia Mercury, April 10, 2020. https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/04/10/inequality-race-and-covid-19/. ^
  11. -, Ned Oliver. “Inequality, Race and COVID-19.” Virginia Mercury, April 10, 2020. https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/04/10/inequality-race-and-covid-19/. ^
  12. -, Blue Virginia, By, -, and Blue Virginia. “New Report by Virginia Interfaith Power & Light: ‘Our Air, Our Lives: Religious Fact-Finding Delegation to Buckingham County.’” Blue Virginia, August 16, 2018. https://bluevirginia.us/2018/08/new-report-by-virginia-interfaith-power-light-our-air-our-lives-religious-fact-finding-delegation-to-buckingham-county. ^
  13. “Our Staff & Steering Committee.” VAIPL. Accessed April 13, 2020. https://vaipl.org/about-us/our-steering-committee/. ^
  14. McGowan, Elizabeth. “Q&A: Climate Leader Works to Shape ‘Environmental Awakening’ in Virginia.” Energy News Network, June 3, 2019. https://energynews.us/2019/05/29/southeast/qa-climate-leader-works-to-shape-environmenal-awakening-in-virginia/. ^
  15. “About.” Virginia Interfaith Center, May 25, 2020. https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/about. ^
  16. “Staff and Volunteers.” Virginia Interfaith Center, June 3, 2020. https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/about/leadership/. ^
  17. “Our Staff & Steering Committee.” VAIPL. Accessed April 13, 2020. https://vaipl.org/about-us/our-steering-committee/. ^
  18. “Our Staff & Steering Committee.” VAIPL. Accessed April 13, 2020. https://vaipl.org/about-us/our-steering-committee/. ^
  19. “Our Partner Faith Communities.” VAIPL. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://vaipl.org/about-us/our-partner-faith-communities/. ^
  20. “Our Partner Communities.” VAIPL. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://vaipl.org/partnership-program/. ^
  21. “Our Partner Communities.” VAIPL. Accessed April12, 2020. https://vaipl.org/partnership-program/. ^
  22. “Our Partner Communities.” VAIPL. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://vaipl.org/partnership-program/. ^
  23. “Our Partner Communities.” VAIPL. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://vaipl.org/partnership-program/. ^
  24. “Our Partner Faith Communities.” VAIPL. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://vaipl.org/about-us/our-partner-faith-communities/. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1986

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $445,417 $393,351 $849,996 $348,329 Y $426,676 $0 $2,941 $76,666 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $262,563 $452,640 $810,252 $372,532 Y $247,934 $0 $3,141 $69,693 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $469,062 $627,753 $1,017,470 $400,542 Y $445,648 $0 $5,168 $77,515 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $714,757 $691,758 $1,243,268 $453,250 Y $685,722 $0 $12,976 $98,694 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $856,742 $808,413 $1,251,537 $478,346 Y $831,025 $0 $8,370 $88,580 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $597,339 $703,712 $1,200,584 $494,566 Y $537,362 $0 $7,160 $78,833 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $797,479 $459,471 $1,354,776 $516,168 Y $798,120 $0 $-9,570 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Virginia Interfaith Power & Light

    PO BOX 12516
    Richmond, VA 23241-0516