Celebrating Black Women In Energy

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Across fields and industries, Black women lead. Energy Allies is a non-profit led by women of color with the goal of decentralizing and democratizing our energy system.

In honor of Black History Month, we are recognizing the accomplishments of Black women who are leading the movement to revolutionize our energy system.  We envision a future where the energy industry is led by a local, diverse workforce.

By highlighting the legacy of Black women in energy, we hope to inspire Black women, daughters, and mothers everywhere to enter energy careers. 

Crystal Johnson

Senior Energy Consultant,
Senior Environmental Planner

Integrative Sustainability & Environmental Solutions

Crystal Johnson is an Energy Allies Board Member and an Urban Environmental Management Expert.

Crystal Johnson is a leader on our Board and Founder of Integrative Sustainability & Environmental Solutions where she now serves as Senior Energy Consultant, Senior Environmental Planner. Crystal has more than twenty-five years of accomplishments in strategic planning, management, engagement, policy, assessment, and research.

Dana Clare Redden

Dana Clare Redden is a solar industry thought leader connecting communities to affordable solar opportunities.

Dana Clare Redden, Founder and CEO of Solar Stewards, is an industry thought leader dedicated to revolutionizing the way social reqs are used to connect CSR initiatives to on-site solar development for organizations that serve the community such as universities, affordable and senior housing developments, churches, non-profits, and municipalities.

Jacqueline Patterson

Founder and Executive Director

Chisholm Legacy Project

Jacqueline Patterson is a visionary dedicated to systems change.

Jacqueline Patterson is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership. The mission of the Chisholm Legacy Project is rooted in a Just Transition Framework, serving as a vehicle to connect Black communities on the frontlines of climate justice with the resources to actualize visions. Prior to the launch of the Chisholm Legacy Project, Patterson served as the Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program for over a decade. During her tenure, she founded and implemented a robust portfolio which included serving the state and local leadership whose constituencies consisted of hundreds of communities on the frontlines of environmental injustice. She also led a team in designing and implementing a portfolio to support political education and organizing work executed by NAACP branches, chapters, and state conferences. Since 2007, Patterson has dedicated her career to intersectional approaches to systems change.

Jessica Matthews

Founder and CEO

Uncharted Power

Jessica Matthews is a genius inventor and social entrepreneur.

Jessica O. Matthews is an award-winning entrepreneur, inventor, and social scientist with more than 10 years of demonstrated thought leadership in the future of smart cities, climate resiliency, and improving equitable access to infrastructure resources. A dual citizen of Nigeria and the United States, Jessica has a degree in psychology and economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is listed on over 12 patents and patents pending. 

Kristal Hansley

Founder and CEO


Kristal Hansley is an innovative entrepreneur and leader in commmunity solar.

Kristal Hansley is the Founder and CEO of WeSolar. As CEO, Kristal brings affordable and accessible community solar energy to communities that experience disproportionate climate burdens and hazards. Before founding WeSolar, Kristal was the Director of Government and Community Relations for a leading community solar energy enterprise in Maryland. In this role, Kristal helped thousands of income-qualifying families save hundreds annually on their electricity bills.

Paula R. Glover

Paula R. Glover is an energy and environmental policy expert centering Black communities.

Paula R. Glover has served as President of the Alliance to Save Energy since January 2021 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2017. Ms. Glover previously served as President and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, a non-profit professional association whose focus is to ensure that African Americans and other minorities have input into the discussions and development of energy policy, regulations, and environmental issues.

Raya Salter

Raya Salter is an Energy Justice Expert, Activist, and Lawyer.

Raya Salter is an Energy Justice Lawyer and Activist. She founded the Energy Justice Law & Policy Center (EJLPC) with offices in Rochelle, NY and Birmingham, AL; and now serves as Executive Director of EJLPC. The EJLPC works with local communities to address harms caused by energy systems while catalyzing a just clean power transition.

Sara Chandler

Sara Chandler is an expert in local community partnerships and engagement.

Sara takes care of the Equity & Access program, including Elemental Excelerator’s investment track to leverage climate-positive startups for opportunities for social equity. Sara creates local partnerships and supports project development by creating frameworks and tools that help operationalize equity to benefit startups and California‘s frontline communities at the same time. Sara also helps facilitate community engagement and public convenings to align climate startups with the needs and priorities of communities most vulnerable to climate change.

Shalanda Baker

Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

Shalanda Baker is the Mother of Energy Justice.

Shalanda H. Baker is the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her appointment, she was a Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. She was also the co-founder and co-director of the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin.

Sophie Maxwell

Commission Vice President

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)

Sophie Maxwell is a thought leader in equitable energy development.

Vice President of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Sophie Maxwell served three terms on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing San Francisco’s District 10. Sophie Maxwell works for a more equitable distribution of public resources, increasing economic development opportunities for all San Franciscans, and nurturing and affecting the lives of San Francisco’s most impacted residents.

Yesenia Rivera

Yesenia Rivera is an expert in energy policy and justice.

Energy Allies’ Executive Director Yesenia Rivera is an AfroLatina expert in energy policy and justice as a scientist, community organizer, and law school graduate. Her first-hand knowledge of energy insecurity in Puerto Rico activated her as an advocate for the elimination of barriers to clean energy for all. 

Zo Mpofu

Director of Energy Equity

Zo Mpofu is a human rights advocate and expert in energy equity.

Zo Mpofu is the Director of Energy Equity at Solar United Neighbors. In her previous role as a human services program consultant for Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina , Zo Mpofu advanced research into racism as a public health crisis.


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