Eco-Equity Challenge 2015-2016: Think Sustainability. Think Justice. Make Eco-Equity.
Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, George Washington University is part of an urban region that has one of the highest income disparities in the country, but one that is also filled with potential for social and environmental improvement. Universities can play an important role in their communities, in part through bringing the energy and innovative ideas of students to serve local organizations that understand community needs. In 2015, GW’s Office of Sustainability and the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service partnered with Siemens Industry, Inc. Building Technologies Division to launch a new program. The Eco-Equity Challenge offers students the chance to propose a project that addresses environmental and social challenges in the Washington, DC region. Applicants must develop their projects in collaboration with one or more community partners, and winners receive funds, training and mentoring to implement their projects.
The winning projects for this first year are:
Project Lily Pad
Team Lead: Paige Cooper
Community Partner: Living Classrooms
Mapping for Youth Empowerment and Community Development
Team Lead: Eleanor Davis
Team Members: Arzoo Malhotra and Marietta Gelfort
Community Partner: Higher Achievement
The Peace Garden at Perry School Community Services Center
Team Lead: Max Grossman
Team Members: Danielle Ciaurro, Joe Hancuch, Morgan Tolles
Community Partners: Little Friends for Peace and DC Greens
Urban Acres: GW Campus Rooftop Farms
Team Lead: Elana Oser
Community Partner: Rooftop Roots
Note: project delayed due to logistical challenges.
The challenge is coordinated by Naamal De Silva, with support from Meghan Chapple, Amy Cohen, Melanie Fedri, and Ronda Chapman. The eco-equity challenge was announced in the spring of 2015. Winners were announced at GW’s Earth Day Fair. On this blog, students reflect on their experiences.