project leader
Jackson K
181 E Buena Vista
(Highland Park)
latest update rss
Our story on ioby's blog!

the project

Missed the campaign? Go to to join us!

Parker Village and Soulardarity are coming together to bring a state-of-the-art smart solar street light with wifi, LED signage, and on-site security to Highland Park. It’s a powerful first step in Parker Village’s first phase, creating a community gathering space with a cafe and aquaponics garden. This initiative will demonstrate what solar can offer to a community’s revitalization, literally lighting the way for Parker Village to grow into the full, transformative potential it holds. We believe in keeping business local, so we’re working with a Michigan manufacturer, Solartonic, and Detroit-based Ryter Cooperative Industries on the build and installation of this light.

Juan Shannon, long-time Highland Parker and owner of Modern Tribe Communications, Inc. bought the old Thompson Elementary School on the eastside of HP to start Parker Village, a community resource hub focusing on technological innovation and community enterprise. Parker Village is a platform for Highland Park innovators to be empowered, resourced, and networked into a powerful movement for Highland Park’s revitalization.

Soulardarity is a Highland Park-based membership organization that got started in 2012 after DTE repossessed over 1000 streetlights from the City. Since launching, Soulardarity has installed six solar-powered streetlights and created “Let There Be Light”, a proposal to re-light HP with 1000 solar street lights and provide affordable internet, emergency response systems, and other community services. Soulardarity’s mission is to build energy democracy, and community control over the critical service of lighting is a powerful place to start.

the steps

Right Now: Raise funds for building and installing the solar smart pole.

Fall 2017: Install the solar smart pole. Celebrate, share our success with our community and the world, and gear up to move forward

Moving Forward: Use the success of this campaign to drive forward the aquaponics garden, cafe and gathering space component of Phase 1, and use Parker Village as a model of community investment and community innovation for a brighter future in Highland Park.

why we're doing it

Highland Park is a city of innovation. Home of the first automated assembly line, the first mile of paved road, the first urban freeway, and the invention of the electric streetlight., Highland Park is a city that has shaped the world. We’re a team of Highland Parkers and allies that are continuing that legacy of innovation with renewable energy, by and for the community.

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you know that there’s something special happening in Highland Park. From the new development plans of the TIFA board, to Mama Shu’s work on Avalon Village, to Wayne Metro’s redevelopment of Cortland School, it’s clear that Highland Parkers are not waiting around for better things to come. We are returning this city to excellence, and more - we’re doing things that have never been seen before. This smart solar light is a small part of a big movement - and we need your help to make it happen.

Help us light the path to Highland Park and show that Parker Village Shines.



Disbursed Budget (8.14.17):

RAISED = $11,535.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $334.95
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $11,165.05

Updated Budget (as of 8.1.17):

Project Subtotal =  $10,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300
Total to raise on ioby = $10,335

Updated Budget (as of 7.17.17):

We received a $50 donation offline and have reduced our online total to reflect this gift.

Project Subtotal =  $19,950
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $599
Total to raise on ioby = $20,584

Original Budget:

Smart Pole Manufacture and Installation - $16,000

Soulardarity Fiscal Sponsorship (10%) - $2,000

Media Creation - $1,000

Pole Base Manufacture and Installation - $1,000

Project Subtotal =  $20,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $600
Total to raise on ioby = $20,635



Our story on ioby's blog!

by ioby
September 15, 2017

What do you do when your city repossess over 1,000 streetlights in your underserved neighborhood, literally putting the lights out on you? Build your own. Only better, and greener. Bring in, that is, community-owned solar power.

That’s what Jackson Koeppel, co-founder and Executive Director of the membership-based solar power nonprofit  Soulardarity, thinks is the answer for his adopted hometown of Highland Park, MI, just outside Detroit. Soulardarity has already installed six solar street lamps up in the community, and has  just finished fundraising for the next project on the docket: a “smart” solar street light, with wifi, LED signage, and a built-in security system. It’s slated to go up right outside  Parker Village, which is a super cool new tech hub/community space/urban farm space being developed in an abandoned school in Highland Park. There’s even going to be an aquaponics center, for raising fish, as well as education and work opportunities for those who want to learn trades within the urban farming field. Oh, and a sweet farmers’ market.

Click here to continue reading the story .


You did it!!!

Thank you! With a total of $11,535 we exceeded our goal by 15%. This was a real grassroots fundraising effort - Take a look at these numbers.



# of Donors

Total Donors


Less than $50


$50 - $100






Over $1000


The success of this campaign is what it looks like when everyone gives what they can to make the vision possible. Stay tuned for updates and opportuntiies to celebrate the first phase of Parker Village and Soualrdarity's first smart solar streetlight!

You can continue to support Parker Village Shines at

With gratitude,

Juan & Jackson 

We changed our goal and need you to reach it!

After much consideration, we have decided to update our fundraising goal to $10,000. The campaign has already achieved so much in growing awarenes and support through your contributions. Thanks to that visibility, we are seeing many opportunities to reach the full goal of $20 K through grants and major donors - but many of them are unable to give before the campaign deadline. With the money raised from this campaign, we will be able to start the process to build and install this steetlight while those opportunities materialize. To succeed, we just need to raise $4000 in the next ten days. If everyone who has already donated can raise or give another $66, we will surpass our goal and get an additional $500 from IOBY. This is crunch time - let's make it happen!

Jackson & Juan

Help us get $500!

Great news - IOBY is offering a $500 bonus once we get over 50% of our goal! We have over $1000 already commited and need $4000 more to get there -- let's make it happen!

25% down -- here's how to help!

Thanks to all of you, we've raised over $5000 and have over $1000 in commitments on top of that for Parker Village Shines! As we approach the mid-point of the campaign, we need to celebrate success and acknowledge that it is going to take a big push from everyone to get to our overall goal. Here's how you can help:

  • Make some asks! You can use this email template I updated to this stage of the campaign. The #1 reason people give is because they are asked, so keep asking!
  • Want to build your grassroots fundraising skills while helping the campaign? Join us for a Grassroots Fundraising Training this Friday evening at the Soulardarity office in Highland Park. You can RSVP on the linked page or by texting GF728 to 313.349.1063
  • We'll be dropping a few new videos this week highlighting our partners in this effort, so like us on facebook and get ready to like and share our content with your networks.

We've got a big lift ahead of us, but I can see the light from here! Thanks for your support.


Juan & Jackson

We're live on facebook!

The campaign video is live on our facebook page - let's keep it boosting!

We've raised 20% -- get ready for tomorrow!

Thank you to everyone who has already donated to make this a reality! Now that we've broken 20%, we're getting ready for a big push on our email list and social media tomorrow. Right now, you can follow us on facebook and get ready to share the video when it goes out tomorrow in the AM. When you share, do it with a personal message about why this project matters to you and why your friends should help out as well. Thanks!

Jackson & Juan


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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