Diversity + Equity + Inclusion + Justice = Sustainability
Equity and justice are the foundations of “sustainability” and they are core values of the UMass School of Earth & Sustainability (SES). Ending systemic racism is central to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, including the expansion of educational opportunities, eradication of poverty, elimination of food and energy insecurity, improvement of health and general wellbeing, and the building of sustainable cities and communities. SES stands in strong solidarity with efforts to end racism and inequalities of all kinds, but meeting these grand global challenges will take more than statements of support- it will take action from ALL OF US, and THAT ACTION MUST BEGIN NOW.
From its inception, the School of Earth & Sustainability has been committed to expanding opportunities for a diverse cohort of students and faculty. For example, SES is a foundational partner in the BRiDGE Scholars Program that works to broaden the representation and visibility on our campus of early career researchers from underrepresented groups. This has led to new faculty hires who are increasing our diversity, deeply enriching our university community, enhancing our scholarship, and expanding our points of view- but SES must do more!
As an initial step, the School is pleased to announce a new seed funding program with awards up to $5000 for transdisciplinary research aimed at expanding knowledge that can help eradicate inequity, enhance environmental and social justice, and build a more sustainable and resilient future. This request for proposals will be announced later this summer. At the same time, SES leadership will launch a new Equity and Justice in Sustainability task force dedicated to leveraging our research capacity, educational programming, and outreach to advance initiatives and programs that foster antiracism and change for the greater good, within the commonwealth and beyond.
Details regarding these initiatives will follow.