(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Recently, this news outlet got the opportunity to peep into the future of the solar industry. And guess what? It’s bright, no doubt!
So often in the past, the Black community is the last to tap into the newest industries. Rarely are Black people in the middle of the cutting-edge technology before us. If anything, we are the biggest consumers.
This is not the case in the ever-evolving world of solar power. One woman, born and raised in New York City and college-educated at one of America’s greatest HBCUs, is working day and night to augment that stereotype more into a story of empowerment.
WeSolar was founded by Kristal Hansley, an entrepreneur, and advocate for the use of solar power to help hard-working families reduce monthly expenses. Kristal is a Brooklyn native with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Howard University. She first made her mark in the political field when she was honored as the 2010 Howard University Legislative Fellow, which led to her tenure in the U.S. Senate on the staff of Majority Leader Harry Reid.
In addition to serving as Program Manager for the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative, she was Majority Leader Reid’s liaison to local, state, and federal officials, and national organizations. Later, Kristal continued her work empowering constituents with legislative support favorable to average citizens by overseeing Community Affairs policy in the office of Congresswoman Elanor Norton.
The experience Kristal gained on Capitol Hill was a perfect fit for her role as Director of Government and Community Relations for Neighborhood Sun, a regional start-up solar company in Maryland. Working with solar energy developers and community leaders, she helped thousands of low-to-moderate-income families save on their utility bills. She decided to leverage her knowledge in this emerging industry and launch WeSolar.
Today, Kristal is the nation’s first African American female CEO in the community solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly providing community solar to corporate clients as well as residential households across the country. Krista also serves on the Steering Committee for the non-profit Baltimore People Climate Movement, Board of Directors for American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Woman Invested to Save the Earth Leader (WISE) Leader and a fellow with African Diaspora Network’s “Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship” (ABLE).