Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.50
Liaison Breeana Sylvas
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of California, Merced
IN-39: Sustainability Office Diversity Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 0.50
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the sustainability office have initiatives specifically designed to recruit sustainability employees from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the initiatives specifically designed to recruit sustainability employees from underrepresented groups:

Does the sustainability office ensure that sustainability employees complete DEI training?:

A brief description of the DEI trainings for sustainability employees:

Does the sustainability office regularly collaborate on events, projects, or initiatives with the institution’s DEI office/program and/or organizations that support underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of events, projects, or initiatives during the previous year developed in collaboration with the DEI office/program and/or organizations that support underrepresented groups on campus:

Virtual Dialogue Series: UC Merced's Virtual Dialogue series are sessions held throughout the academic year, which are interactive and geared towards graduate students, post-docs, faculty, and staff. The Office of Sustainability hosted a discussion on climate justice (the description of the discussion follows). When climate change and its impact are often discussed, the conversation tends to focus on occurrences of extreme weather events such as wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, heat waves, and drought. Unfortunately, it is rare for the dialogue to include discussions of equity despite the disproportionate impact climate change will have on frontline communities. According to the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment—written by a team of more than 300 experts and vetted by 13 federal agencies—low-income communities and communities of color are the most vulnerable to climate effects and other environmental hazards. This is due to the legacy of siting industrial facilities near these communities and other discriminatory housing and infrastructure policies. These factors have left these communities with the fewest resources to prepare for and recover from extreme weather events. To hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and safeguard frontline communities from climate change impacts, climate action must be built on a framework that is centered on achieving economic, racial, and environmental justice.

UC Merced's Sustainability Internship at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): In a proactive effort led by the Office of Sustainability, with support from OEDI, UC Merced student Andrea Guerra was selected for the inaugural 2021 summer environmental internship at NRDC. This groundbreaking internship focuses on policies that promote clean vehicles and fuels through the lens of DEI. UC Merced looks forward to augmenting opportunities for students interested in careers where issues of environmental justice, social justice, and legislation intersect.

Does the sustainability office or committee include at least one individual with formal DEI and/or environmental or social justice responsibilities?:

Documentation of the formal DEI and/or environmental or social justice responsibilities:

Guillermo Ortiz, Sustainability & Diversity Educational Programs Manager. Guillermo is also the co-chair of the UC systemwide working group on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. His responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
⬧ Support partnerships and effective co-programming with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
⬧ Supervise interns and fellows working on social/environmental justice, multi-culturally inclusive sustainability, employee sustainability education, academic research, and sustainability projects
⬧ Design, develop, and implement sustainability projects, annual reports, programs, strategic plans, and policies.
⬧ Provide support and training on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice to increase connection to and impact in communities of color and low-income communities
⬧ Utilize story-telling and story-collection to help connect the UC Merced community connect more deeply into sustainability work, support campus leadership in this work, and build better cross-program understanding
⬧ Created an environmental summit and exclusive paid internship program between UC Merced and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to build a pipeline for students interested in the intersection of social justice, equity, and environmental policy

Website URL where information about the initiatives to advance DEI within the sustainability program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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