I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few.— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jacqui is known for her ability to work across a broad swath of sectors and entities to weave narrative, analysis and strategy that situates a call for broad systems change in the lived experiences of frontline communities.
Jacqui centers her work around facilitating self-determination and power building with frontline communities. Rooted in an intersectionality analysis, she approaches her work through a lens of seeing the interconnectedness of the Earth and its inhabitants within natural and person-made systems and a corresponding need for multi-solving for the challenges that face us. Her purpose and focus are on supporting efforts toward a just transition from an extractive economy to a living economy.
Her areas of expertise include:
- Facilitating visioning with frontline communities and working with communities to translate visions into strategy and action planning.
- Conducting equity-based analysis of policies, programs and practices, and facilitating community-driven recommendations for infusing equity and justice, and working with philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, government entities and corporations to follow frontline wisdom and leadership.
- Bridging technical and informational resources with frontline communities that need it to exact systems change by translating science, connecting science and research practitioners, and working with communities to use data as a foundation for transformational action.
With extensive experience working in content areas of gender justice, racial justice, environmental and climate justice, public health and beyond, Jacqui has breadth and depth of knowledge and capacity in multiple sectors.
Jacqui 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. Before the launch of the Chisholm Legacy Project, Patterson served as the founding senior director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program for over a decade. During her tenure, she implemented a robust portfolio, which included serving 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. Over the years, her passion for social justice led her to serve as coordinator and 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.
She 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.
Jacqui appreciates learning from a range of aligned movement building and movement support organizations, and she is gratified to contribute her knowledge and skills to their missions. The boards and committees she serves on include:
- Center for Earth Ethics
- Hive Fund for Gender and Climate Justice
- Mosaic Momentum Governance Assembly
- Equitable Building Electrification Fund
- Institute of the Black World
- Bill Anderson Fund
- American Society of Adaptation Professionals
- Movement Strategy Center
- Just Solutions Collective
- National Black Workers Center Project
She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, windsurfing and spending time in her second home, Jamaica, West Indies. She has also embraced a newfound passion for researching the history, present circumstances and quest for self-determination of freedmen’s settlements across the United States. The next item on her bucket list is to gain at least intermediate proficiency in Spanish!