African American News

"UNCF Hosts Building Green Learning Institute Featuring Green Building and Sustainability Experts"

[Previous entry: "UNCF Hosts Building Green Learning Institute Featuring Green Building and Sustainability Experts"]

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, UNCF–the United Negro College Fund–the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, is hosting its third Building Green Learning Institute on June 10-12 at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, TX. More than 100 representatives from minority-serving two-and four-year colleges and universities, along with the nation's top green building and sustainability experts will participate in the learning institute.

"Climate change is a global issue and a driving force for building green. But it's also a challenge for every institution in the country," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. UNCF president and CEO. "Because just as environmental sustainability is key to our national economic health and vitality, so it is a critical part of the economic sustainability of the institutions within the economy, and that definitely includes our colleges and universities. Educating good citizens, and being good institutional citizens, has always been part of the DNA of HBCUs and other MSIs. And building green is very much part of that tradition."

The Building Green Learning Institute is part of UNCF's Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) initiative, which is underwritten by a $1.8 million grant from the Kresge Foundation. The green building initiative is part of UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building, a $25 million institutional improvement program that helps UNCF's 39 member historically black colleges and universities become stronger and more self-sustaining.

The featured speakers for the San Antonio Institute include Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of UNCF member institution Spelman College; Robert Stanton Senior Advisor to Secretary of Interior Salazar; and Lisa Garcia, Senior Advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Each of the three institutes incorporated a unique cultural focus: salsa jazz and traditional mariachi players in San Antonio, jazz and blues in Atlanta, and American Indian tribal dance and singing in Minneapolis. Past keynote speakers included environmental justice advocate Majora Carter, president and CEO of Majora Carter Group; environmentalist Winona LaDuke and Clark Atlanta President Carlton Brown.

"The Kresge grant has provided UNCF the opportunity to partner with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, American Indian Higher Education Consortium and Second Nature to help prepare all minority-serving institutions to integrate sustainability into their short and long-term planning," said Elfred A. Pinkard, Ph.D. executive director of the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building.

"Minority-serving institutions can make a significant contribution to combating climate change by maximizing energy efficiency and sustainable practices," added Felicia Davis, director of the UNCF ICB Facilities and Infrastructure Enhancement program. "Minority Serving Institution's possess an extraordinary opportunity to lead by example and ICB is here to help."

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