Elida Erickson, the Sustainability Programs Manager and Interim Director of the Sustainability Office, shares her experience at the national annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
I had the honor of representing our campus at the national annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Sustainability professionals from all around the world converged on Minneapolis, MN for the occasion. The session that struck me the most was an all-day workshop focused on incorporating sustainability and diversity issues.
The workshop facilitators represented several different institutions across Minnesota, and focused their work on expanding the traditional environmental movement's definitions of sustainability to be more inclusive of diverse viewpoints and cultural experiences. Several small group activities helped workshop participants think outside of the box regarding sustainability, and a student panel shared stories that helped put some faces to the issues. What I was most impressed with overall was the level of trust both the facilitators and students have built with each other, and are willing to share with others to spread their work. I am excited that we are starting a similar movement on our own campus with the AIRC’s #POC Sustainability Collective, and look forward to working closely with them in the coming years on this very important work.