Pearl Eva Walker is an energy justice advocate, writer, and public speaker based in Memphis, Tennessee. She is deeply involved in the Memphis community and works closely with local electeds and ally organizations on our Memphis Has The Power campaign. A longtime champion for energy justice, Walker recently became the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP. Additionally, Pearl’s concerns and passion for helping her fellow Memphians led her to run for Memphis City Council in 2019 to help ensure Memphians have a just energy future.
Pearl is inspired by many who have worked on justice issues before her, including Cornelia Crenshaw, an energy equity and justice advocate and Memphian whose protest efforts in the 1960s and 1970s led local utility, Memphis Light Gas & Water, to allow its customers to make partial payments on their bills. After witnessing Memphis communities, especially Black and Brown, struggle with energy unaffordability, high electric bills, coal ash pollution, and lack of access to safe and affordable clean energy options like solar, Walker wanted to work to mobilize concerned citizens and to elevate their awareness, understanding, and conversation around the dangers of climate change and the importance of clean energy choices.
Pearl’s advocacy has provided her with the opportunity to be a part of Memphis’ first Energy Justice Conference, hosted by SACE in 2017. In 2018, Walker addressed the Tennessee Valley Authority Board regarding a fixed fee hike in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Pearl also traveled to Atlanta that year for the Just Energy Summit at Morehouse College sponsored by the Partnership for Southern Equity, where a variety of different voices united to take collective action toward a more equitable and inclusive clean energy future where no one is left behind. In 2019, Walker attended the 2019 Tennessee Valley Energy Democracy tour hosted by Appalachian and sponsored by organizations including SACE.
Pearl continues to be involved with energy justice and climate events and educational opportunities around the country to stay abreast of current issues and deepen her knowledge of inequities so that she can be a catalyst for positive change.