Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
IN-39: Sustainability Office Diversity Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Samantha Ford
Sustainability Projects Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Pitt's Sustainability team works to include diverse and inclusive voices, perspectives, and individuals across campus and in partnership. Specific to recruiting, diversity is imperative. In recruiting new Pitt Sustainability employees and interns, Pitt Sustainability positions are primarily posted through Pitt Human Resources (which has its own broad DEI recruiting strategies).

However, the Pitt Sustainability team also purposefully ensures that the position opportunities are distributed around campus and off-campus to reach a variety of audiences who might be specifically interested in the specific position, including for diverse and underrepresented candidates. Position descriptions are also reviewed by multiple Pitt Sustainability team members to ensure inclusive language is being used.

While the University does not have an official policy to require that diverse candidates are regularly interviewed, the Pitt Sustainability team does regularly review candidate interview slates to ensure that diverse candidates are represented for both new employee and intern positions.

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

A brief description of the DEI trainings for sustainability employees:

The Pitt Sustainability team's professional development is performance-based, not prescriptive. While we do not "ensure" sustainability employees complete DEI training, we have full trust and assurance that they do -- and have answered yes above.

The Pitt Sustainability team regularly attends a number of DEI-focused and related trainings both internally and externally, many of which are advertised on the Pitt Sustainability event calendar: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/events/

Additionally, 2020 took the entire University of Pittsburgh's DEI training efforts (along with those of the Pitt Sustainability team) to new heights. There were copious virtual DEI events and training both at Pitt and nationally that Pitt Sustainability team members attended. A few key ones includes:

+ 2020 Pitt Diversity Forum: https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/forum2020
+ Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance (Fall 2020 Course w/materials now online) https://www.provost.pitt.edu/anti-black-racism-history-ideology-and-resistance-final-course-syllabus
+ Center for Teaching & Learning's Anti-Racism Resources: https://canvas.pitt.edu/courses/643/pages/anti-racism-resources
+ Juneteenth - A Prelude to True Equity and Social Justice at Pitt. Recording: https://youtu.be/ImSo9EFIdi4
+ My Racial Journey – 10-week, guided curriculum aimed at helping us challenge the ways we participate (often unknowingly) in racism by developing basic knowledge and skills about race. https://www.mrj.pitt.edu/
+ Pitt Medicine's Virtual Diversity Book Club: https://calendar.pitt.edu/search/events?past=1&search=diversity+AND+book+AND+virtual

+Various LinkedIn Learning DEI trainings, to which all Pitt students and employees have free access

To help systematize this approach for the Pitt Sustainability team the Office of Sustainability drafted a set of DEI training materials for new employees and interns, which is currently under review by the full Pitt Sustainability team with cross-departmental implementation expected in 2021.

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:

The Pitt Sustainability Team collaborated with the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion by creating and leading two sessions for the Pitt 2020 Diversity Forum which had over 12,000 participants worldwide.

This forum was a 3-day virtual event focused on key social justice concepts, practices, and policies for education and implementation. Featured speakers include: Ibram Kendi, one of America’s foremost historians and leading voices on antiracism, as well as, well-known political activist and academic, Angela Davis. https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/forum2020

The entire schedule was amazing -- and some special sustainability-related sessions the Pitt Sustainability staff collaboratively organized and led included:

Systemic racism exists in the business and entrepreneurial space where differential access to capital and resources serves as the main perpetuator of inequity. The University of Pittsburgh is committed to responsible and impactful spending practices to strengthen our community with focused engagement and purchasing strategies. Our goal is to create a space where diverse businesses can access growth opportunities and where buyers can access the resources to make more equitable purchasing decisions. This workshop will review Pitt’s strategies and achievements in diverse spending, and present engagement opportunities for local businesses.

Moderated by Jennifer C. Barnes, supplier diversity and sustainability coordinator, University of Pittsburgh

Session Recording: https://pitt.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=be08f788-068c-434f-a614-ac850127919b

Sustainability is the balance of equity, environment, and economics so current and future generations can thrive. Despite centuries of efforts, the Pittsburgh region has wrestled with this construct, yet issues of environmental and social justice remain – and are intertwined in systemic, cross-generational, and sector-specific issues. Systemic and institutional racism is evident in the poor environmental conditions for black, brown, and indigenous peoples across the United States and in Pittsburgh. This session will start with a land acknowledgement recognizing and respecting Native Nations as traditional stewards of this land. The panel will address how Pittsburgh’s industrialization resulted in social and environmental injustices that perpetuate today, especially affecting communities of color. Topics of pollution, toxic air, energy sources and poverty, and the lack of representation in the environmental sector will most certainly be discussed by the following panel from their various perspectives and experiences.

Featuring: Annalise Abraham, Pitt student in urban Studies; James Fabisiak, PhD, associate professor, environmental and occupational health; director, Center of Healthy Environments and Communities, Environmental, and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh; Oluchi Okafor, Pitt student Africana studies and political science; Joylette Portlock, PhD, Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh; and Aurora Sharrard, PhD, Director of Sustainability, University of Pittsburgh (moderator)

Session Recording: https://pitt.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c6b2d734-a2c6-4d9a-bf54-ac08010a497d

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:

The Pitt Sustainability team has 14 individuals under its umbrella and an additional 75 supporting staff members leading the charge across the campus and community. Three of the individuals attending weekly Office of Sustainability staff meetings have formal DEI and/or environmental or social justice responsibilities:

1) Jennifer Barnes (she/her), Supplier Diversity & Sustainability Coordinator, Purchasing Services

Jennifer works with the procurement team in Purchasing Services and Strategic Sourcing to advance socially and environmentally responsible purchasing. Read her full bio: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/campus-leaders/jennifer-barnes/

2) Erika Ninos (she/her), Sustainability Coordinator, Office of PittServes

In her role, Erika is charged with advocating and advising Pitt’s Student Office of Sustainability (SOOS), the student staff and Council for the SOOS, administrative oversight of the University of the Thriftsburgh (Pitt’s campus thrift store), the Pitt Bike Cave (the University bike co-op), and the Green Fund Allocations Board. Erika was the inaugural coordinator of the Pitt Pantry, the university’s on-campus food pantry and the founder of the annual Collegiate Basic Needs Dialogue, a regional gathering of community and university stakeholders. Read her full bio: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/campus-leaders/erika-ninos/

3) Ciara Stehley (she/her), Sustainability Program Assistant, Office of PittServes

Ciara coordinates a variety of student-facing sustainability programs including the Pitt Pantry. She also chairs the Campus-Wide Basic Needs Committee and Meal Scholarship Committee, both of which are new to the University of Pittsburgh. Read her full bio: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/campus-leaders/ciara-stehley/

4) Desmond Stuart (he/him), Basic Needs Coordinator, Office of PittServes

Des supports the campus-wide basic needs explorations, including the Pitt Pantry, Campus-Wide Basic Needs Committee, and Meal Scholarship Committee.

Meet Pitt's Sustainability staff: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/office-of-sustainability/

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Pitt Sustainability's Racial Justice Statements & Resources: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/racial-justice/

Course Materials from Pitt's Fall 2020 Required First Year Course, "Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance (PITT 0210)": https://www.provost.pitt.edu/anti-black-racism-history-ideology-and-resistance-final-course-syllabus

2020 Pitt Diversity Forum (including session links in each day's schedule at bottom): https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/forum2020

University of Pittsburgh's "Creating a More Racially Equitable University": https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/social-justice

Meet Pitt's Office of Sustainability: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/office-of-sustainability/

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