February 2021 Milestone
For those who joined us at the February Milestone of the Climate Action Pursuit, you can find links to our climate justice-related sessions below by clicking on the link to Sched. For more information on how to register for future Milestones of the Climate Action Pursuit, click here.
Pursue Racial Justice – Higher Education and Racial Equity
Description: Throughout American history, higher education has played a role in creating and reinforcing structural racism. Climate change disproportionately impacts communities of color, and is the result of the same unsustainable, extractive system that marginalizes and disempowers these communities. As institutions seek to shift their role to become actively anti-racist, how can we align climate action and all other institutional priorities with efforts to dismantle structural racism and lift up BIPOC communities? How can we ensure that climate solutions are led by and benefit these communities, and do not reinforce patterns of exploitation? What is the role of endowments in this work — and what are the risks they face by not investing in racial equity? Leading thinker, author and entrepreneur, Nathalie Molina Niño explores these questions with Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, CFO of the East Bay Community Foundation and Chair of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies on Race and Ethnicity.
Racial Equity Investing 101 – No Justice, No Peace Without Prison Free Portfolios
Description: Because of the racist history of incarceration in the U.S., racial justice, and racial equity investing, are impossible without dismantling the prison industrial complex, one that systematically targets thousands of primarily poor Black and Indigenous communities for disenfranchisement while making billions for corporations and shareholders every year. Doing so will require going beyond private prisons, which hold less than 8% of all incarcerated people in the country. This session will offer an opportunity to learn some of that history and what it means for environmental justice and investors. You will hear directly from a lawyer and activist formerly with the Mecklenburg County Public Defenders’ office, with first-hand experience inside the penal system due to the protests last summer, and learn how to begin taking action from pioneers in racial equity and prison free investing.
Equity in Practice – Integrating DEI&I from Firm to Portfolio
Description: In this workshop, we discussed how to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion practices throughout your organization – from organizational policies/procedures/culture straight through to business practices. Leaders from Global Endowment Management talked about the evolution of DE&I at their firm, and we brainstormed as a group how to advance DE&I in our work.
Pursuing Climate Justice Through Climate Action – Perspectives across North American Universities
Description: This session was an opportunity for board members, executives, faculty, staff and students to learn how climate justice is being incorporated into teaching, research and strategic planning at three North American universities. This was an introductory session for participants working to transform a commitment to climate justice into action and set the stage for a series where participants will develop a community of learning and be supported in implementing initiatives at their institutions.
Keynote Conversation – NAACP & Climate Justice
Description: Climate change has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low income communities in the United States and around the world. The NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program supports community leadership in addressing this human and civil rights issue. This session provided an overview of the NAACP’s climate justice work and how it intersects with issues of health, food, and community resilience. Speakers explored ways the higher education community can enhance its climate justice leadership in terms of campus culture, community engagement, education, and endowment investing.
Racial Equity Investing – Creating Your Own Best Practices
Description: For investors looking to truly address the economic effects brought on by social inequities, progress towards racial equity must be a key consideration in the investment approach. In this session, we heard from an asset allocator, investment consultant, and asset manager who have made considerable strides in racial equity investing, spanning from enhancing diversity within their own institutions, investing with diverse founders, allocating to funds or businesses that focus on improving socio-economic outcomes for people of color, or engaging with companies on issues that relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The panelists walked participants through their own journeys providing concrete examples of what racial equity investing looks like, best practices that they have learned in their journey, and hurdles they had to overcome. Break out groups discussed pain points and workshop your own racial diversity and equity plans.
June 2021 Milestone
Browning the Green Space – Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in Practice
Description: This featured workshop provided participants with an overview of the primary role that justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion play in advancing climate action within higher education. In this session, we explored systems-based approaches to promoting JEDI objectives in pursuing energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable resource management, and more by examining how these approaches intersect with several key pillars – careers & companies, capital & contracts, and communities.
Just and Equitable Climate Action Planning
Description: This workshop focused on the ways that college/universities can develop more just and equitable climate action plans, drawing on the experiences of several higher education institutions and other cross-sector partners.
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