Rasheena Fountain has recently joined our team as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator for UW Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF). Rasheena was born in Chicago but spent some of her childhood in Central Illinois. Her experience on the west side of Chicago and Central Illinois shapes her lens on the natural world and its inhabitants. In both settings, nature was constant, though she sees how systemic barriers affected how well more than humans and people thrived in their environments. These observations have led her to pursue and complete an Urban Environmental Education master’s degree from Antioch University in 2017. She is currently finishing up her MFA in Creative Writing, where she researched and wrote an essay collection about Black land relationships, Indigeneity, displacement, geography, queerness, and more than humans. In the fall, she will be a MA/PhD student in English on the literature and culture track, deepening her research in these areas and continuing to widen the environmental memory landscape.
Rasheena hopes to bring her lens, research, and experience in urban environmental education to the DEI Coordinator position for UW Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Fund. She is excited to expand upon the foundations set within CSF and UW Sustainability to help recruit new perspectives, deepen relationships, and highlight existing efforts for a more inclusive, accountable, and sustainable future on campus and beyond. She most looks forward to collaborating with colleagues and partners to support University of Washington students as they create innovative solutions to improve sustainability on campus and with community. She believes that one barrier to sustainability engagement comes from historical misrepresentations of who is or should be engaging in sustainability work. Rasheena wants to reiterate an invitation to students, staff, and faculty of all sexual and gender identities, physical abilities, BIPOC communities, and other underrepresented groups on campus to engage in sustainability work through UW Sustainability and CSF and for them to know that their ways of knowing, ideas, and projects are crucial to a more sustainable future.