BIO / PROFILE
Shalini Gupta is a writer, researcher and environmental justice activist. Shalini has been involved with energy, climate and environmental policy - with a focus on building frontline community capacity - for the past 20 years. Her work is centered on solutions to our ecological crises that are grounded in people and place; and our economic and social histories. Through her consultancy work, Shalini works with a range of philanthropic, governmental, and community-based organizations across the country.
Clients have included: the Chicago Frontline Funders Initiative (CFFI), McKnight Foundation, the Health & Environmental Funders Network (HEFN), Surdna Foundation, National Audubon Society (Washington D.C.). She has been a policy advisor (as part the One Square World team) to the City of Providence, RI, Racial and Environmental Justice Committee in creating their landmark municipal Climate Justice Plan and the City of Boston's efforts to integrate community interests into their Building Emissions Performance Standard. Deeply committed to place-based strategies where she lives, Shalini is the Board Chair of the Urban Bird Collective, and works actively as an advisor to Community Members for Environmental Justice, COPAL, and Aniccha Arts' Prairie | Concrete public arts project.
Prior to starting her consulting work, Shalini was the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, an environmental justice research and policy organization. As a co-facilitator of the City of Minneapolis Environmental Justice Working Group, her work helped develop the city's groundbreaking 2013 Climate Action Plan (establishing Minneapolis' first environmental justice focused Green Zones Initiative) and the 2019 Southside Green Zones Work Plan. Shalini’s past work experience includes research and policy positions at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany, and the Izaak Walton League of America’s Energy Program. A former governor appointee to the Minnesota Next Generation Energy Board, Shalini has served as co-Chair of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice Board of Directors, on the board of Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, and was on the founding leadership team of the Midwest Environmental Justice Network.
Shalini is committed to arts-based, culture-shifting organizing strategies, having worked with numerous community of color led arts groups, including Aniccha Arts, Ananya Dance Theatre, RLM Arts, Zenteotl Project and Line Break Media on collaborative projects related to environmental justice. She was a 2019 contributing author to the Walker Art Center's Fourth Wall magazine publication and works on land-based efforts and children's storytelling endeavors (as a past Loft Literary Center’s Mirrors and Windows fellow) that intentionally shift the current ecological paradigm toward one of reciprocity and social justice.
She holds a BA in the Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University. An immigrant as a child from Mumbai, India, since 1984 Shalini has called Minneapolis home, the un-ceded land of the Dakota peoples. She is blessed to live here with her husband, two sons, mother, and a community of friends and extended family. Website: www.sgupta.org