Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.69
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Emory University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Taylor Spicer
Programs Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
MedShare

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

MedShare is a nonprofit organization based in Decatur, Georgia that collects unused and sterile medical equipment and supplies from hospitals around the country and sends them to over 72 developing countries worldwide, as well as free clinics and nonprofit organizations within the United States. Without MedShare, these supplies would be incinerated or landfilled, negatively impacting the environment when they could have helped those in need.

Emory's involvement in MedShare dates back to 1998 when it was founded by former Emory employees, who sought advice from some of Emory's professors and deans prior to the founding of the organization. Also, Emory University Hospital Midtown (previously Crawford Long Hospital) was one of MedShare's first surplus product gathering sites. Emory Healthcare senior leadership have served on Medshare advisory committees, and as of FY 2020, Dr. Ira Horawitz of the Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine is a member of Medshare’s Board of Trustees. MedShare is also a regular destination for Emory volunteers. As recently as 2019, Volunteer Emory ran a weekly service trip to MedShare, where undergraduate student volunteers assisted with packaging and organizing medical supplies. Emory volunteers also work with MedShare on Emory Cares Day, a day in which members of the Emory community, especially alumni, come together to create positive change through service.

http://www.medshare.org/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
re:loom

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

re:loom is a program of the Initiative for Affordable Housing (IAH). Founded in 1990 with one home and one homeless family, IAH’s mission is to provide permanent, affordable housing to homeless and low-income families in metro Atlanta. re:loom grew naturally from IAH’s work with adults who struggled to secure and maintain jobs. At re:loom, weavers design and produce handmade rugs, scarves, bags, etc. from donated textiles, plastics, and other materials; and lead teams of weave house volunteers in Decatur, GA. With a stable salary, 100% healthcare coverage, and opportunities to engage in the operation of the weave house, employees gain a financial foundation, leadership skills, and a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Emory and the Office of Sustainability Initiatives have an ongoing partnership with re:loom to “upcycle” old textiles, such as old custodial uniforms and outdated athletic jerseys. Emory’s partnership with re:loom began when Emory’s Associate Vice President of Sustainability, Ciannat Howett, learned of the initiative through her position as chair of the board of Sustainable Atlanta. She and Deena Keeler, the Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services, joined forces, and in the first summer of its partnership with re:loom, Emory donated 300 pounds of outdated athletic uniforms and 100 pounds of custodial uniforms for re:loom to use in their weaving. By incorporating Emory's discarded uniforms into its products, re:loom not only keeps garments out of local landfills but also helps to solve a uniform disposal problem: the nonprofit removes all Emory badges and returns them to the University, whereas before, Emory had trouble recycling its uniforms because of the security concern of leaving the Emory brand name on them.
Several Emory organizations have volunteered with re:loom, including Greeks Go Green, the Track and Field team, Volunteer Emory, and OSI interns. Also, during the 2017 campus move-out period, the “Don’t Dump It — Donate It” recycling program encouraged students to donate instead of dispose their used books, clothing, furniture and housewares to be sold to support re:loom. The campaign was a success, with 330,000 pounds of donations collected, which were sold to raise $2,267 for re:loom.

https://www.reloom.org/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development Greater Atlanta (RCE Greater Atlanta)

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

The United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Greater Atlanta is a diverse network of local stakeholders committed to advancing and teaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local and regional scales. In 2017, the RCE Greater Atlanta was officially recognized by the United Nations University as one of 168 RCE networks in the world, and one of only 6 in the country. Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Spelman College co-wrote the RCE Greater Atlanta application, which established the network that now includes several other Georgia higher education institutions as members: Agnes Scott College, Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College and University of Georgia. Collaborators also include businesses, non-governmental organizations, community associations, and local, regional, state and federal governments. Partners who submitted letters of support for the application include the Atlanta Regional Commission, Captain Planet Foundation, Center for Sustainable Communities, City of Atlanta, Corporate Volunteer Council, Greenhouse Accelerator Inc., Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Saving Our Sons & Sisters International, Southface, and the United Nations Foundation.

The RCE’s primary work is to offer broad-based educational and training programs to support regional sustainable development efforts. It endeavors to advance knowledge and action around the SDG’s, while modeling inclusive & collaborative community and nurturing strong youth leadership. Its guiding principles include building intergenerational relationships, advancing equity, building on members’ skills and assets, fostering a diverse membership, acting as SDG advocates, and more. Emory is a natural leader of the network, as the SDGs are central to its 2025 Sustainability Vision.

In its first year, member organizations collaborated to host nine conference sessions in Atlanta, the U.S., & around the world; send delegations to global RCE conferences; develop a Youth Network which engages university students in meetings, volunteer opportunities & cross-campus sustainability projects; and launch an Environmental Justice Academic & Youth Network SDG training program.

https://rcega.org/
https://sustainability.emory.edu/programs/un-sustainable-development-goals/


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

*Turner Environmental Law Clinic:
The Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law offers a practical clinical education to the aspiring environmental attorney. By providing free legal assistance to individuals, community groups, and nonprofit organizations that seek to protect and restore the natural environment for the benefit of the public, the law clinic trains law students to be effective environmental attorneys with high ethical standards and a sensitivity to the natural environment. By working with the majority of the environmental groups in the state of Georgia, the law clinic has expanded the effectiveness of the environmental community on issues ranging from opposition of proposed coal-fired and nuclear power plants, to preservation of marshes and wetlands, to protection of communities from undesirable facilities such as landfills.

The Clinic has also provided legal support to the City of Atlanta, for instance, by working with Georgia Organics and the City to develop one of the most comprehensive urban agriculture zoning ordinances in the country in 2014. At the City’s request, the Clinic has also assessed the legal pathways and barriers to adopting a citywide mandatory food waste landfill ban, as well as the barriers to siting and operating a commercial composting facility in Atlanta.

http://law.emory.edu/academics/clinics/turner-environmental-clinic.html

*Urban Health Initiative (UHI)
UHI began in 2011 through the initiative of William Sexson, MD of the Emory University School of Medicine and Carlos Del Rio, MD of the Emory University School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

UHI’s mission is to improve the health of and decrease disparities among diverse and underserved populations in Atlanta. It endeavors to provide education and advocacy with regards to health disparities, build collaborative partnerships, and develop best practice models with low-resourced communities and those who work with them. UHI focuses on five priority areas of metro Atlanta. Its current projects empower community organizations by providing seed grants, advisory support and educational programs & workshops to community residents. Furthermore, UHI’s projects actively include community members in project planning, implementation, etc. One notable project is an organic community teaching garden in Northwest Atlanta which called upon residents and community partners to help teach gardening, cooking and nutrition classes while growing free produce for an area that suffered from limited grocery options. Emory students consistently provided volunteer work throughout the process of relocating the garden. Through projects such as these, UHI progresses toward its vision of communities working together to eliminate health disparities and social determinants of health inequity.

http://www.urbanhealthinitiative.emory.edu/

*South Georgia Farmworker Health Project:
The South Georgia Farmworker Health Project (SGFHP) began in 1996 at the Emory School of Medicine with eight Physicians Assistant (PA) students, three PA faculty, and one physician, under the direction of Tom Himelick, an Emory faculty member in the PA Program. Today, the SGFHP is a multidisciplinary effort involving some 200 students, clinicians, interpreters, and logistics volunteers. It has become the hallmark initiative of the PA Program and received national recognition for its culturally appropriate delivery of care for an often-overlooked population—migrant farmworkers.

Each June, rotating morning and afternoon clinics provide free care for 1,800+ farmworkers and their families over 12 days. Teams see an additional 300 workers during an October weekend clinic. From 1996-2018, a total of 28,000+ farmworkers were served. Clinics are staffed primarily by Emory PA students, faculty, and clinicians and assisted by Emory physical therapy and medical students. The clinics are also staffed by representatives of the other Georgia universities and colleges which partner with Emory: Mercer University, Valdosta State University, Bainbridge College, University of Georgia, and Morehouse University. Spanish and Creole interpreters from Atlanta, South Georgia, and Florida volunteer as well. SGFHP clinical teams have treated a range of patients, including people who have never been seen by a provider, women in labor, and workers with serious chronic illnesses. It’s a time of invaluable learning and service that affects everyone involved and honors the PA mission to provide quality, accessible, and cost-effective care.

https://news.emory.edu/features/2018/11/learning-fields/index.html


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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