By Katherine Richards

Equitable Development

Yesterday evening’s Upper Peninsula Initiative gathering focused on equitable development, a major focus in The Sustainability Institute’s, UPI’s parent organization, goal for the Upper Peninsula, as they work towards a more sustainable way of living.

Speakers included representatives
from Neighborhood House, The American Red Cross, and The Sustainability Institute.

Deborah LaRoche, the director of Neighborhood House shared the services and opportunities the agency has been able to bring to the Upper Peninsula through their admirable charitable work.

The local
American Red Cross branch came and talked about their free program, teaching residents to install smoke detectors in vulnerable homes around the neighborhood.

The Sustainability Institute also spoke about their revolutionary weatherization techniques used to reduce energy bills and environmental footprints with the Energy Conservation Corps. The program is designed to teach and train the next generation of industry leaders.

Guests enjoyed fried chicken, mac & cheese, cornbread and sweet tea from Martha Lou’s Kitchen, a New York Times acclaimed soul food restaurant located in the Charleston Upper Peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula Initiative is a public-private planning effort managed by the City of Charleston and the backbone organization, The Sustainability Institute.

For more information, please visit or email

Photos by Stan Foxworthy Foxworthy Studios.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Spectrum
, hosts, The Neighborhood House, and our awesome speakers and volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do without you!