8/20: ‘On Global Climbing Day, Memphis Rox welcomes professional climbers and shows screening of local film highlighting energy affordability Issues in Memphis

August 19, 2022
Contact: Kate Tracy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 865-235-1448, [email protected]; Peter Walle, Honnold Foundation, [email protected]; 978-480-0745

A panel of community leaders, experts, and professional rock climbers will discuss a recent solar installation at the Memphis Rox rock climbing gym made possible by the Honnold Foundation and how the installation has sparked an opportunity for conversation on the importance of energy access for all and current barriers to that access.

Memphis, TN — On Saturday, August 20, Memphis area residents and media are invited to a film screening of ‘Keep the Lights On’ and a panel discussion at the Memphis Rox climbing gym with community members, local advocates, and policy experts. The event coincides with Global Climbing Day, and professional rock climbers Nina Williams, Manoah Ainuu (recently summited Everest), Olympic Silver Medalist Nathaniel Coleman, and Fred Campbell will be in attendance hosting and participating in community and climbing-oriented events prior to the film screening and conversation.

The film follows Memphis Rox staff member and leader Jarmond Johnson, recounting his experiences with intermittent energy access growing up in South Memphis, his growth into a mentorship role at Rox, and, ultimately, working with professional rock climber and environmental activist Alex Honnold (best known for the academy award-winning film, Free Solo) to bring solar energy to the gym. Following the screening, Jarmond and a panelist of experts will discuss takeaways from the film, and how equitable access to solar energy could help all Memphians keep their lights on.

WHEN: Saturday, August 20 – Tabling from 10 AM to 4 PM with film screening at 2:30, followed by panel discussion at 3.
WHERE: Memphis Rox, 879 E McLemore Ave. Memphis, TN 38106
WHO: Speakers will include:

  • Jarmond Johnson: Main “character” in ‘Keep the Lights On,’ Memphis Rox Staff, Mentor
  • Peter Walle: Executive Producer, Communications and Development Manager, Honnold Foundation
  • Josh Cannon: Director, Creative Director, Memphis Rox/One Family Memphis
  • Pearl Walker: Energy Justice Advocate, Civic Engagement, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy + Memphis Has the Power
  • Jon Hawk: Director of Ops, Memphis Rox
  • Nina Williams, Moderator, Professional Climber

This event will inform the public about the Memphis Rox solar installation made possible by the Honnold Foundation, the impact Memphis Rox and the installation has on the broader Memphis community, energy affordability issues in Memphis, opportunities for Memphians to advocate for policy reforms, and Memphis Light Gas & Water’s (MLGW) decision about whether or not to change its current power supplier from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to an alternative energy supplier that could provide more opportunities to expand solar in Memphis and lead to lower energy bills for Memphians. 


9 AM – Goat Yoga in the garden 1
10 AM – Climbing opens
10 AM – 2 PM Local Vendors, Scarpa and Petzl table, REI table
10 AM – 1 PM – Tye Dye Shirts
10:30 AM – Goat yoga in the garden 2
11 AM – 1:30 PM – Water slide and dunk tank open
11 AM – Grasshopper wall unveiled with clinic by Olympic Silver Medalist, Nathaniel Coleman
12 PM – 1:30 PM – Food served
12 PM – 2 PM Climb with the athletes
2 PM – Manoah and Dr. Fred discuss ‘Full Circle Everest’
2:30 PM – ‘Keep the Lights on’ Film screening
3 PM – Discussion panel with Memphis Rox, Honnold Foundation, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
4 PM – Raffle and Closing


Memphis Rox and One Family Memphis brings rehabilitation, healing and a renewed sense of hope to challenged communities by providing a climbing facility and programs to foster relationships across cultural, racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. We exclude no one — regardless of ability to pay. To learn more, visit www.memphisrox.org.

The Honnold Foundation (HF) promotes solar energy for a more equitable world. Founded in 2012 by professional rock climber Alex Honnold, we believe that energy should be clean, affordable, and accessible for everyone. HF provides funding, project management, and a storytelling spotlight to nonprofit partners worldwide, who are using solar energy to create opportunity, increase social equity, and build more resilient communities. To learn more, visit www.honnoldfoundation.org. 

Since 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible and equitable energy choices to ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. www.cleanenergy.org