I-WEST Seminar: Engaging energy communities where they are

Picture of Sonrisa Lucero

Sonrisa Lucero

Office of Economic Impact and Diversity
U.S. Department of Energy

Seminar Information:

Date: September 6, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MDT

Location: Held via Webex. A no-cost registration is required to attend.

Register here or contact [email protected] for assistance. 

The I-WEST seminar series hosts thought leaders on a spectrum of topics tied to transitioning the Intermountain West to carbon neutrality, including technologies, policy, workforce, and environmental justice. 

Seminar Summary

Many communities have been on the front lines and fence lines of our energy system, bearing most of the impacts of the energy industry and oftentimes being left out of its benefits. As the nation takes new directions toward a clean energy future, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity is engaging energy communities through the “Energy Justice to the People” roadshow. In a first-of-its kind approach to community engagement, the roadshow leads an interagency delegation from across the federal government to convene with community members, elected officials, utility board members, advocacy organization, and local government officials to strategize on how to equitably maximize federal investment opportunities, minimize environmental impacts, and ensure local community benefits.

Tune in to this seminar to learn about the roadshow, where it has been so far, and where it’s headed. Sonrisa Lucero, Special Advisor for Stakeholder Engagement, will share lessons learned and outcomes from the recent Gulf South tour, in which seven cities and towns were visited. She will also provide valuable information about the community benefits plan framework—a new DOE strategy to help ensure energy benefits make their way into justice communities—and some of the community-facing funding opportunities currently available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

If you are interested learning about how to incorporate energy justice and equity into your Intermountain West community, research project, or initiative, we hope you’ll join us for what we anticipate will be a lively presentation and discussion!


Sonrisa Lucero is a Special Advisor for Stakeholder Engagement in the DOE Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. She was most recently the Equitable Buildings Decarbonization Manager at RMI where she led the efforts to integrate equity into carbon free buildings policy and advocacy. Previously, she worked to advance equitable sustainability and climate policy at the City and County of Denver in the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency. A lifelong activist for social justice, Sonrisa is skilled at building coalitions and guiding diverse stakeholders to equitably advance sustainability and combat climate change. Sonrisa was born and raised in Denver, CO and graduated from Stanford University with an Individually Designed Major, Environmental Systems Engineering.

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