Founder & Executive Director
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. Her passion for social justice led her to serve as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United; Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid; Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health, Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica.
Patterson has published multiple articles, reports, and toolkits including: “Equity in Resilience Building for Climate Adaptation: An Indicators Document,” “Jobs vs Health: An Unnecessary Dilemma,” “Climate Change is a Civil Rights Issue,” “Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster: Gendered Layers of Impact,” “Disasters, Climate Change Uproot Women of Color;” “And the People Shall Lead: Centralizing Frontline Community Leadership in the Movement Towards a Sustainable Planet;” “In the Eye of the Storm,” “Our Communities, Our Power,” “Fossil Fueled Foolery.” She’s also authored chapters in two books as follows: “Equity in Disasters: Civil and Human Rights Challenges in the Context of Emergency Events” in the book Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster, as well as, “At the Intersections” in the book, All We Can Save.
Patterson holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards for Center for Earth Ethics and the Hive Fund for Gender and Climate Justice, on the Governance Assemblies for Mosaic Momentum, Environmental Justice Movement Fellowship, and the Equitable Building Electrification Fund, as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, the Bill Anderson Fund, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, the Movement Strategy Center, the Just Solutions Collective, and the National Black Workers Center Project.