After working at Pattern Energy Group for less than eight months, Lauren Haller founded the company’s first and only racial/ethnic affinity network: Blacks in Renewable Energy. She also championed and led the company’s inaugural Diversity Month.
Additionally, her personal business ventures include Blackscriptions, which introduces consumers to Black-owned businesses around the country, one box at a time. For instance the Black Wax Blackscription features hand-poured artisan candles from both up-and-coming and established candle-makers. Other editions (Black Beans, Black Tie, etc.) will follow.
In addition to Blackscriptons, Haller also launched Feasts + Faraway Places, a multigenerational food, travel and lifestyle blog.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? Your career?
I am proud of serving as a driving force in my company’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. From launching Blacks in Renewable Energy to creating and chairing the company’s inaugural Diversity Month, these initiatives are having an impact not only on the company’s culture but also on individuals alike. Encouraging people to take an introspective look inward and have crucial conversations about race, bias and equity is having a momentous impact. Having open, honest, forthright dialogues about uncomfortable topics is the first step to changing an individual and ultimately to changing society.
Why do you feel it’s important to be an active member of the community?
I am reminded of an Oprah Winfrey quote: “I am where I am because of the bridges I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C.J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” I am walking on bridges built by others. But for their sacrifices, I would not be where I am today. Hence, for me giving back to the community is a requirement, not a suggestion. I have to leave a legacy, no matter how big or small. I, too, have to build bridges for the generations to come.
How do you use your voice to inspire change?
I use my voice to uplift others. As a woman of color, I understand what it’s like to be the only one in the room — the only woman, the only Black person, the only Black woman. With that, I make it a point to uplift those silenced voices, those voices that are spoken over, those voices who present ideas only for others to take credit.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned after this year?
In addition to learning the art of sanitizing, the pandemic has taught me to take nothing for granted. In the blink of an eye, we went from free, unimpeded movement to severe restrictions on movement. Without warning, we went from visiting with family and friends whenever we desired to quarantining with immediate family only. This past year allowed me to take an introspective look inward and evaluate what truly matters. Pre-pandemic, I was constantly on the move. I never stopped moving. The pandemic allowed me to slow down (to a degree) and reorient my personal and professional goals and objectives.
What advice would you give to the next generation?
While you are young, embrace your passions, take risks, and live life to the fullest. Often, youth are guided through the lens of their parents and close family members. Be careful not to let societal or familial expectations dictate your trajectory. Do what you love, while you can. And have no regrets.
Senior director, senior legal counsel – operations, Pattern Energy Group
Education: Bachelor of Science and JD, University of Oklahoma