Solar with Justice Project Team

The Solar with Justice project’s goal is to encourage greater state and community collaboration on equitable solar development. The project plans to do this through developing knowledge products, facilitating productive conversations, and fostering innovative models of state and community collaboration. Project team members play different roles to support these goals, including academic research, community and state outreach, and technical analysis.


Lidia Garcia

Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Clean Energy Fellow, Energy Trust of Oregon
[email protected]

Lidia Garcia is a RAY (Roger Arliner Young) Clean Energy Fellow at the Energy Trust of Oregon, where they work on community engagement related projects and initiatives. Lidia has a background in racial and gender equity, working with grade schoolers, college students, and older adults. Lidia's passion centers working for Mother Earth through community building and partnership.

Betsy Kauffman

Betsy Kauffman

Sector Lead - Renewable Energy, Energy Trust of Oregon 
[email protected] 

Betsy Kauffman leads Energy Trust of Oregon’s renewable energy sector, which provides cash incentives and technical assistance to solar, hydro, and biopower projects in Oregon. The program has funded more than 19,000 commercial, residential, and large-scale solar projects and more than 20 hydro and bio projects. Prior to joining Energy Trust, Betsy worked at For the Sake of the Salmon where she managed the Salmon-Friendly Power program, one of Oregon’s first programs to allow utility customers to choose a renewable power option. Betsy has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Janelle Knox Hayes

Janelle Knox-Hayes

Associate Professor, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning 
[email protected]

Janelle Knox-Hayes is the Lister Brothers Associate Professor of Economic Geography and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She holds a visiting research fellowship at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. Her research focuses on the ways in which social and environmental systems are governed under changing temporal and spatial scales as a consequence of globalization.


Dominique Mack

Senior Manager – Coastal Georgia, Partnership for Southern Equity
[email protected]

A native of Brunswick, Georgia, Dominique Mack joins PSE as Senior Manager for Coastal Georgia. She will lead our effort in building PSE’s capacity and network on the Georgia coast and in south Georgia.

Known for her unorthodox approaches, Dominique’s highest values are family, community, and Black women. She has dedicated her life to supporting marginalized communities, especially those experiencing domestic violence, poverty, crisis, and houselessness. That support has often looked like advocating for community-centered solution making, resource development, increasing access through active engagement, assisting Black and women-owned businesses, policy interrogation and change, training and recruiting leaders, developing programs, and obtaining millions in grant dollars to be invested back into the coastal area of Georgia.

Dominique is the visionary and founder of Soul Work Rx, a wellness community that believes in self-mastery restoration for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). She works faithfully empowering others through her writings, training, group facilitation, community development strategies and podcast. Her work is informative, and interactive, and calls for action for change. Dominique has been featured locally and nationally from The Huffington Post, XONecole, Elite Daily, Blavity, For Harriet and many others.

Dominique holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from Florida State University, and an extensive background in human services including nonprofit and government management.


Nolan Scruggs

Master of City Planning Graduate Student at MIT
[email protected]

Before starting his Master of City Planning at MIT and becoming one of the researchers on the Solar with Justice Project, Nolan held a number of titles and responsibilities across multiple professions and areas of interest. Before starting school, Nolan worked as a political fundraiser, community and environmental organizer, data analyst and a fencing coach. One of his proudest accomplishments is helping to organize against a fracked gas power plant in his hometown of NYC. Nolan is from Brooklyn originally but was raised in Queens.

Leah Taylor

Leah Taylor

Director of Partnerships, Access & Equity Program, Vote Solar
[email protected]

Leah Taylor serves as the Director of Partnerships, Access & Equity Program for Vote Solar. Leah leads Vote Solar’s Just Partnership Strategy to support the organization's national and state-level campaigns, ensuring that the people most impacted by energy decisions have a voice in shaping them.

Since 2011, Leah’s career has centered around building and sustaining inclusive partnerships at the community, regional, and national level to help create a more just and abundant future for all. Prior to Vote Solar, Leah lead projects focused on increasing opportunity and success of Indigenous-owned businesses, preventing veteran suicide across the country through a community integration and partnership-based approach, supporting community-based research to address racial health disparities, and most recently working with visionary rural leaders in 21 states to develop inclusive digital economy ecosystems.

Leah immigrated to the United States from Canada more than 10 years ago, first living in Georgia, and now Vermont. They hold a Masters Degree in Globalization Studies from McMaster University, and an undergraduate degree in International Development Studies from York University.


Bayoan Ware

Project Manager, Renewables, Energy Trust of Oregon
[email protected]

Bayo Ware is a Project Manager on the Renewables Team at Energy Trust of Oregon. His role focuses on community-focused custom projects, such as the management of the BIPOC Solar Ambassadors Pilot. Relatively new to the energy field, he as a professional background in affordable housing and early childhood education.

Kim Wolske

Kim Wolske

Research Associate Professor -- The Harris School of Public Policy, The University of Chicago
[email protected] 

Kim Wolske is a research associate professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a fellow with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). Her work draws on the fields of environmental, social, and cognitive psychology to examine the behavioral dimensions of energy issues, with an eye toward improving the design of public-facing policies and programs. Most recently she collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy's Sunshot Initiative to investigate strategies for lowering the soft costs of residential rooftop solar. Other research examines how different ways of framing climate change solutions may influence public perceptions of the issue and support for mitigation and adaptation policies.