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USGBC: Emerging Professionals in Green Building on Intersectional Environmentalism

October 14, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm PDT

The buildings we create affect the communities and the environment they rest within. Initially constructed as monuments and visions of time, most structures originate through systems of redlining, segregation, white supremacy, fossil fuels, and environmental degradation. We have the opportunity to dismantle these systems oppression through the intersectional nature of sustainability in this industry.

Join us on October 14th to discuss how emerging professionals can eliminate racial injustice from the workplace and inspire equitable actions into everything we do. For those just beginning their careers, it can be daunting to incite change within existing corporate archetypes. The panel will amplify the voices of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) peers to learn about the importance on Intersectional Environmentalism as emerging professionals. The event will include discussions surrounding the various themes:

  • How can we contribute to positive change within our organizations?
  • How can we tackle existing barriers for BIPOC emerging professionals?
  • How does environmental racism influence the built industry?
  • What avenues can emerging professional take to uplift BIPOC voices and social equity?

If you cannot afford the price of this event, please contact mcolburn@usgbc.org for a discount code.

This is the second event in a new USGBC Pacific Region series on Intersectional Environmentalism in the built environment.

Special thanks to our event working group

  • Liz Anderson, EXP
  • Melanie Colburn, U.S. Green Building Council
  • Chloe Eitzer, Pyatok
  • Johnathan Adlam, Gethsemane Design Solutions
  • Skye Lei, Anthesis Group

What is Intersectional Environmentalism?

In the words of activist and eco-communicator Leah Thomas (@greengirlleah):

“This is an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet. It identifies the ways in which injustices happening to marginalized communities and the earth are interconnected. It brings injustices done to the most vulnerable communities, and the earth, to the forefront and does not minimize or silence social inequality. Intersectional environmentalism advocates for justice for people + the planet.”


While USGBC has always condemned injustice in all forms, we recognize we must renew our commitment to dismantling the systems that enable such tragedies to occur. In the words of USGBC CEO/President, Mahesh Ramanujam, “A sustainable future is meaningless if it is not also an equitable future. Now is the time for USGBC to double down, to put our budget and resources toward building a more inclusive vision.”

This event will occur in the context of following USGBC’s recent first national Equity Summit in May. Prior to that, USGBC Northern California hosted an ‘Equity Summit on Affordable Housing’ and an event with the USGBC-NCC Rising Leaders Committee on ‘Equity in the Sustainable Built Environment’. We hope to continue that work in the context of the national conversation.

“What is next? We act! The equity road map has never been more critical. Identifying the opportunities to dismantle systemic racism and then tackling them has never been more vital. Being intentional in the pursuance of equity outcomes has never been more necessary.” – USGBC SVP of North America, Kimberly Lewis


October 14, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm PDT
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