Green Festival Speakers

Jacqueline Patterson



Jacqui was born and raised on the south side of Chicago to a Jamaican immigrant father and an African American mother from Mississippi. She attended Boston University where she gained a Bachelors in Special Education while working in the Boston shelter system and participating in the “Housing Now” movement. During her 3.5 year term as a volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Jamaica she worked with the Community Environmental Resource Center which began due to the contamination of the Harbour View community water supply by the neighboring Shell Company plant. After Peace Corps, Jacqui went on to earn two Masters Degrees in Public Health and Social Work from Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland respectively. She has worked as a trainer, organizer, researcher, program manager, and policy analyst on international and domestic issues and social justice movements with organizations including Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Baltimore City Healthy Start, IMA World Health, United for a Fair Economy, ActionAid, Health GAP, and the organization she co-founded, Women of Color United (WOCU). Jacqui is now the Climate Justice Initiative Director for the NAACP. Her work on climate justice before engaging with NAACP was through Women of Color United’s participation in a Movement Generation for Change Ecology Justice Retreat and partnership with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization on the From Katrina to Copenhagen Initiative. Last year she facilitated a partnership between NAACP and Women of Color United to engage in the “Women of Color for Climate Justice Road Tour” to uplift stories of differential impact, community local self reliance, and community resistance of women of color and communities of color.