Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
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Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
GW/DCPS AmeriCorps Partnership

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:

GW has an ongoing formal partnership with DC Public Schools to support out of school time programs and community partnerships in 8 elementary and middle schools and in 3 offices at DCPS central office. The programs are focused on the development of community gardens, food insecurity, and educational equity. Vulnerable populations are included through parent engagement including through the parent-teacher organizations. GW provides funding support both by raising outside funds and through hard dollars for program support - staffing, training, transportation, etc. serve.gwu.edu


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Eco-Equity Challenge

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):

Through GW's Eco-Equity Challenge, the university provides a biennial opportunity to support students and a community partner in their social entrepreneurial efforts to address environmental and social justice issues in Washington, D.C. Projects address the idea that all people regardless of race, income, culture, and social class have the right to a decent quality of life and deserve equal protection from environmental and public health hazards. The projects have both environmental AND social impact in an underserved or low-income neighborhood. All projects are done in partnership with a local community based organization, such that the community itself has input on the project and decision making as well as the long-term viability of the project. GW provides students, mentors, and community partners with funds for the projects. https://sustainability.gwu.edu/eco-equity-challenge-0


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
DC Climathon

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 DC Climathon at GW provides student and citizen innovators with the financial resources, mentors, and support to launch start-ups that address sustainability and climate change in the District of Columbia. Winning solutions are designed for and with vulnerable populations in the District of Columbia, address social equity and environmental impact, and are based on a economically viable business model. Winners are awarded financial and mentorship support. Teams are trained to connect with community members and organizations to test and launch their start-ups.


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

1. Grow & Miriam's Kitchen - GW students with support from the Office of Sustainability run the GW GroW Community Garden on campus. The university provides the funding, space, permitting, materials, promotion, and other resources to maintain the garden. The garden program has important ties to and is a resource for the local community. The garden has a partnership with Miriam’s Kitchen - a local soup kitchen in the neighborhood - and donates 500 pound of produce each year since 2012. Several community groups volunteer in the garden to learn about urban gardening including local middle and high school students, the GW Neighbors project, Foggy Bottom residents, and residents from the local senior living center at St. Mary’s Court. All of these efforts help to address food justice and equity in the urban setting.

2. Community Art & Stormwater Project – GW collaborates with the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) whose mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Ward 8 in Washington, DC. The project results in community engagement at Washington School for Girls in building stormwater management systems in the neighborhood. The girls use art to educate their peers, family, and the community about the systems. Stormwater runoff affects the quality of life in the area through flooding and more broadly in the Cheseapeake Bay, as well. GW's participation is led by the Biology Department, ArtReach, and the Honey Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

3. Alt-Breaks - The GW Alternative Breaks program offers winter and spring break trips to both domestic and international locations. Each trip has its own unique service area, from sustainability to education to labor rights. Students receive training in advance of the trip, and the student-run organization maintains ongoing partnerships with community organizations. GW Alt Breaks trips offer GW students the opportunity to be global citizens and leaders in communities around the world as they contribute to social, environmental, and economic development hosted by community partners.

4. Civic House Academic Residential Community - This program for first-year students interested in becoming active citizens engaged in their communities challenges students to learn about the unique cultures, strengths, and needs of communities in Washington, D.C. and build collaborative relationships among students, faculty, and community-based organizations to meet needs and learn through service. All Civic House students will live together on campus. Civic House is a program of GW’s Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

5. EnvironMentors is a joint program between Sustainable GW and National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), which pairs high school students with college undergraduate and graduate students. The program provides and sustains student-mentor relationships for a yearlong program; guiding and helping students complete a hands-on, inquiry-based science research project; exposing students to local environmental issues and opportunities; and providing college access experiences for students to encourage and grow their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) into a college and career path.

6. Fresh Air DC Living Lab - Led by faculty and students in the Sustainability Minor and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, this prgram improves air quality through low-cost sensors, data analytics, and university-community partnerships. The program creates an integrated technological system that facilitates urban air quality monitoring and communication using low-cost sensors and Internet of Things connectivity. This system is student- and community-driven, and contributes knowledge and technology to advancing distributed urban air quality sensing in smart cities. The program is conducted in partnership with K-12 and college students at the Howard University DC-MD-VA (DMV) National Society of Black Engineers Jr. (NSBE, Jr.) chapter. The project vision is to collaboratively help neighborhood citizens to realize the potential of smart cities technology through engagement with their local air quality, the link between their actions, exposures, and potential risks, and the potential for organized community actions to improve their local environments based on real-time air quality data.

7. The Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative at the Redstone Center at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health seeks to improve the health of children, families, and communities by fostering engagement between grassroots community services and public and private systems to develop a protective buffer against Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) occurring in Adverse Community Environments (ACEs) – the “Pair of ACEs." Connecting community organizations (through a church health ministry or trusted food pantry, for example) with larger systems (including those in health care, education, business, law enforcement) can begin to build a durable network to improve community wellbeing. The BCR sites are in the Greater Cincinnati Region of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, Dallas County, TX, the State of Oregon, Washington, DC-Maryland-Virginia, the State of Washington and Kansas City (MO and KS) and St. Louis, MO.


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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