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Webinar: Environmental Justice in Higher Education: From Intent to Sustainable Action
February 15 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ESTFree
This webinar was moved from August 24, 2022 to February 15, 2023.
This webinar will trace shifts in the traditional framing of sustainability in higher education and how it is implemented, following the recent racial reckoning in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and protests led by the Black Lives Movement. While higher education institutions continue to demonstrate ecological leadership on most of the typical areas associated with sustainability—built environment, climate, energy, food and water—joining the plethora of green campus initiatives across the U.S. that seek to reduce carbon footprints, the sector is beginning to grapple with the challenging social and political contexts and structural inequities that promote environmental degradation.
Sustainability professionals are beginning to recognize their work as set in the intersection of environment and social justice, advocating for regenerative systems and practices on behalf of the planet and its people. What are the various ways in which higher education is reframing sustainability? What are the challenges and opportunities in how they are implementing these shifts, alongside institutional efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion? This webinar will explore the work of select higher education institutions (such as Princeton, MIT, Emory) and their efforts to implement supplier diversity programs, trainings etc. What would it mean to implement sustainability long-term, through the lens of environmental justice, beyond individualist measures (e.g., ride a bike, eat local, recycle etc) focused around operations & marketing? What are best practices emerging and hopeful directions this work is taking towards a more just, sustainable and inclusive world?
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Ijeoma Nwagwu, Assistant Director for the Office of Sustainability, Princeton University
Ijeoma Nwagwu is Assistant Director at the Princeton University Office of Sustainability where she facilitates academic engagement and Campus-as-Lab (CAL) initiatives. In this role, Ijeoma drives a portfolio of projects at the nexus of education, research, and operations with the objective of advancing hands-on-learning, collaborative research and applied sustainability on Princeton’s
Running-Grass, Director, Three Circles Center
Running-Grass, Director, Three Circles Center, is an educational and cultural theorist and environmental activist. His expertise spans several fields including multicultural education, critical pedagogy, and environmental and wilderness education. He is widely published and nationally recognized for his formative contribution to the field of multicultural environmental education and environmental justice. Running-Grass was one of the 300 delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, which launched the Environmental Justice movement onto the national stage. Since the late 1990s, in his position at the United States EPA, he has worked on Environmental Justice issues at various levels of government including federal, state, and local with a focus on identifying and addressing these issues at the community level. Running-Grass is a long-time student of Yoga, Buddhist philosophy and practice, and the Japanese martial art Aikido.
Susy Jones, Senior Sustainability Project Manager, Office of Sustainability, MIT
Susy Jones joined the MIT Office of Sustainability team to help implement the strategic framework for the Office during its launch in 2013, convening staff, students, and faculty from across the Institute around topics ranging from low-carbon commuting to organizational change. She is currently working to advance sustainable and accessible food systems and environmental justice on campus.
Shana Weber, Director, Office of Sustainability Princeton
Shana Weber is founding Director of the Office of Sustainability at Princeton University. In this role, Weber advances strategic actions across campus operational and academic systems toward realizing an ethos of sustainability in service to local and global communities. Her current research interests include climate-change driven population dynamics of the American pika, ecoregional analysis, the application of behavioral science to sustainability decision-making, and collaborative applied sustainability research within and across academic institutions. Weber serves as a board member for the municipal nonprofit Sustainable Princeton. She is senior adviser to the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium and executive leadership liaison for the Ivy Plus Sustainability Consortium