As 2021 comes to a close, the UW Sustainability team would like to wish everyone a safe and sustainable holiday season, and a happy and healthy 2022.
Some of our team took the the opportunity to look back at the past year as well as the year ahead, to share our accomplishments and what we're thinking about heading into the New Year:
Toren Elste, Program Specialist
Sailing into a new year!
This past year was all about supporting the Sustainabilty Action Plan and working toward our targets. We hit a few key milestones and can't thank our campus partners and community enough for helping us work toward these goals! The milestones included three successful tri-campus events that connected students, staff, and faculty with subject matter experts at all our UW campuses. We revamped our Green Certification program and implemented a system for more peer-to-peer opportunities for engagement. We successfully transitioned some key events from virtual to in-person with our Sustainability Fair and our Husky Green Award events, we also figured out how to livestream these events to help engage with even more of the campus community. We hope to continue to work toward our Sustainability Action Plan goals around engagement this upcoming year and look forward to working more with you, our wonderful campus partners, and the UW community. Wishing you a fabulous holiday season and best wishes for a successful and productive 2022.
Francis Abugbilla, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator
In 2022, I look forward to a resilient Campus Sustainability Fund and UW Sustainability office where we increase diverse and inclusive programming by initiating and amplifying the efforts of marginalized voices in order to serve the UW community and build more meaningful partnerships to advance our work.
Marilyn Ostergren, Interim Director
For 2022, I’d like to draw inspiration from the final stanza of Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb."
When day comes, we step out of the shade,
Aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it,
For there is always light,
If only we're brave enough to see it,
If only we're brave enough to be it.
Daimon Eklund, Communications Manager
We've navigated through a lot of unknowns the past two years, with more on the horizon. As we've learned how to continue our sustainability work in the shifting conditions of the pandemic, we've also been implementing a new Sustainability Action Plan for UW and now are navigating a change in directors. It hasn't been easy, but this is has also given us an opportunity to step back and think about what we're doing and why, and determining how best to move forward. I'm looking forward to seeing where we go in 2022.
Christoph Strouse, Sustainability Action Plan Coordinator
2021 has been a challenging year for everyone including UW Sustainability, but I have found solace in our resilience and humanity as a team and learning community. We bid farewell to our Director Claudia Frere-Anderson whose inclusive leadership style shaped the formation of our office since its beginning, providing opportunities for students like myself to share in leadership and grow professionally. While Claudia will be eternally missed, I’m hopeful about the opportunities a new Director will bring, knowing that we have created an equitable search and hiring process to find someone who will help guide the next chapter for UW Sustainability.
In reflecting on this last year, I’m grateful and humbled by the work our office has done to center equity, diversity and inclusion in the work we do. We have been working with a DEI consultant all year, challenging ourselves to learn new techniques for communicating and working that de-centers patriarchal, white supremacy culture and realigns our practice in anti-racism, authenticity, radical inclusion, collaboration, and action toward a more just and equitable future for UW Sustainability.