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Denise Abdul-Rahman

AFFILIATION: Black Sun Light Sustainability

TITLE: Executive Director and Founder



EXPERTISE AREA: Black/African-American Communities, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environmental Justice, Environmental Racism, Green Jobs/Economy, Just Transition, Transportation & Infrastructure


Denise (Blackburn) Abdul-Rahman is the Executive Director and Founder at Black Sun Light Sustainability (BSLS). The Mission of BSLS is to radically transform, maintain and support a diverse and just transition all the time domestically and abroad. Abdul-Rahman holds a BS in management, MBA in healthcare management, and a health informatics designation from Indiana University School of Informatics. She is currently a Ph.d student in Transdisciplinary Leadership Creativity and Sustainability and is a Black Woman Foreign War Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. Abdul-Rahman facilitates the Indiana Alliance for Equity, Diversity Inclusion for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure & Economic Opportunities, and leads the building of equitable clean energy projects and demo projects to PowerUp Clean Energy Jobs, Minority Business Contracts and infuse the Black Green Pipeline initiative. Abdul-Rahman’s most recent honors and recognition are Community Service Award 2021, NAACP Medgar Evers Nominee 2021, Vote Solar Dr. Espanola Jackson Award 2020, Faith-Based Rev. Mozel Sanders Drum Major for Humanities Award 2020, Indiana University Robert McKinney School of Law Environmental Protector Award 2019, NAACP Indiana Hazel B. Hunter Award 2019 and the NAACP Indiana President’s Award 2020. She has had the privilege to speak/work with various organizations and academic institutions, such as DePauw University, IU McKinney School of Law, IUPUI School of Sociology, Purdue University, Indiana State University, IU-Bloomington, Butler University, Emory University, Wayne State-Law School, provided Keynote address for the University of Chicago at Illinois (Freshwater Lab Summit), AALS Clinical Education Conference, Solar Energy Industry Association, Global Citizen Year at Stanford University, Duke University, UC Davis, University Miami, Yale University and IUPUI Richard Lugar Renewable Energy Center to name a few. She serves the ERI Advisory Board, National Senior ELP Fellow and serves the United States Speakers Bureau, Keynoted in Brazil 2022. Other capacities of service, former Vice Chair of the City of Indianapolis Air Pollution Control Board, former VP of MREA Board, as well as a Delegate to Egypt COP 27, Glasgow COP 26, Paris COP 21 and Global Climate Action Summit.


Contact Denise Abdul-Rahman at

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