The Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance makes an annual award recognizing an individual or organization for significant contributions advancing renewable energy in Virginia. This year, Richard Walker was nominated and chosen for the award.
The Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance cited the following when presenting the award to Mr. Walker: “Richard Walker is a mental health professional and Founder and CEO of Bridging the Gap in Virginia, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to empower ex-offenders, veterans, persons in substance abuse recovery, and those experiencing chronic homelessness. A strong advocate for environmental justice and renewable energy, Richard developed a green workforce development program that has already facilitated free clean energy career trainings to 52 vulnerable individuals and returning citizens, providing them a crucial path to overcoming barriers to change; as well as a Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium committee member for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Richard’s work across Virginia as an advocate for rights restoration and “Ban the Box” (Fair Chance hiring) ordinances has assisted over 10,000 individuals in getting their civil rights restored. Richard has served on the Stakeholders Group for Restoration of Rights for three governors and is a Federal Bureau of Prisons Certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist. He also serves as a Committee Member for multiple Regional Reentry Councils, facilitated “Overcoming Barriers” employment workshops for the City of Richmond’s Office of Community Wealth Building, and is a certified VADOC Statewide Volunteer for Cognitive and Reentry Community Units. He has advocated for Expungement, ending Solitary Confinement, fair access for public housing, and other legislation that has adversely affected all Virginians. For many years, Richard has been a strong community advocate and through his work, Richard continues to uplift vulnerable individuals and advance justice.”