Sandra Upchurch

Energy Justice Manager

Sandra joined SACE in 2014 and is our Energy Justice Manager working in Memphis, TN, promoting low-income energy efficiency programs and growing clean energy resources. Sandra worked as an industrial chemistry teacher for 20 years and recently retired from the Shelby County School system (formerly Memphis City Schools). She has served on several boards and committees over the years including Tennessee Clean Water Network, (TCWN); Sierra Club Tennessee- Chickasaw Chapter – Executive Committee and Environmental Justice Committee, steering committee for the 2010 “Gather at the River Conference”; the Cypress Creek Health Exposure Committee; as well as two terms as Memphis City Beautiful Commissioner.

Sandra coordinated Green the Block, a 9.11 National Day of Service for “Green for All” in conjunction with her school. She was honored as one the 2009 Green Role Models and received the 2009 Dick Mochow Environmental Justice Award by the Sierra Club. Sandra was featured in the Commercial Appeal’s January 2010 Going Green Magazine and was awarded the 2011 Satterfield Award for “Volunteer of the Year” by the Memphis Public Library. She was also honored for her accomplishments as one of the fifty “2012 Women of Excellence” by the Tri-State Defender.

Currently, Sandra is a Doctoral Candidate at Walden University at Walden University, in Minnesota. She earned a Master of Science – Human Resources Development from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1997, Associate of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering Technology, State Technical Institute at Memphis in 1986, and a Bachelor of Science from LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, TN in 1984.

Sandra's Recent Posts


TN NAACP College & Youth Division: Preparing for Climate Change

SACE's Sandra Upchurch reports back from the 15th Annual NAACP-TN Race Relation/Advocacy Summit in Jackson, TN, where young leaders are developing their consciousness of environmental and climate justice.


Showing Up to Demand Energy Equity in Tennessee

SACE staff Sandra Upchurch, Jason Carney, and Michael MacMiller joined our partners in NAACP's Environmental & Climate Justice Committee (ECJ) in Nashville on February 19 for the TN NAACP State Conference’s "Day on…


Putting a Face on Energy Burden in Memphis

MEMPHIS: THE HOME OF ENERGY BURDEN Last Week, Old Man Winter rolled into the home of the blues. He brought in cold arctic air, dramatically dropping temperatures, and rising power bills, especially…