BY MIKE EVANS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR–
The Zilkha Center traveled to Yale in early March for the Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment (NESSBE), the theme of which was Equity of Place: Social Justice in the Built Environment. The ZC’s Assistant Director, Mike Evans, presented on a panel entitled “Social Equity and the Higher Education Campus” and talked about the Equity Drafting Table, the interactive pop-up activity/art installation that the Zilkha Center exhibited, with co-sponsorship support from the Davis Center, for a week in February.
Mike co-presented with Sara Draper, Director of the Kern Center at Hampshire College, and Colleen Murphy Dunning, Director of the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology at Yale University. Sara presented about student activism that pushed for equity in the built environment and Colleen presented about Yale-led efforts to create impactful town-gown initiatives through green jobs hiring and training programs, and community forestry. The panel was moderated by Shawn Hesse. Associate Director of Community Engagement at ILFI, the organization that runs the Living Building Challenge standard, through which the Class of 1966 Environmental Center became petal-certified.
The Equity Drafting Table (EDT) is a tool to foster dialogue about ways to create a more inclusive and robust community through the lens of the built environment. The findings from the EDT will be shared with the Williams community in April and will be brought into the areas where the Zilkha Center has influence, including building committees and the sustainability committee during next fall’s strategic planning process. To learn more, read Nandini Seetharaman’s piece in The Record.