A native of the nation’s Capitol, Washington, D.C., Nia was born into the city that handles the nation’s and World’s biggest problems. This influenced Nia to get involved at an early age when she had her first internship at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 16. Energy has always been an intriguing field of study for Nia and she continued that path all the way through college. Attending both a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) Clark Atlanta University and Predominately White Institution (PWI) Northeastern University molded Nia into the woman she is today. Originally apart of the Dual Degree Engineering Program, Nia finished in 2020 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Law & Public Policy. This dual concentration is a two pronged: on one hand there is the energy/environmental policies that is interesting but, on the other hand are social, restorative, and transformative justice policies.
In her research at University of California, Berkeley, she draws on the parallels between the carceral system and climate change to highlight how they are currently interacting. This research is essential in the field of Climate Justice because it encapsulates two of the most pressing issues in our society today, climate change and mass incarceration. In the long run, Nia hopes to build alternative programs for youth across the country that equip them with skills, tools, character and confidence to live fulfilling lives outside of prison walls. Overall, the meaning of Nia is purpose and the definition states to “building/developing our community to restore people to their traditional greatness.”
RAEL (Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab – Kammen)