At CSUMB the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Office of Sustainability merged in 2020, forming the Office of Inclusive Excellence & Sustainability (OIES). This organization shift restructures and reframes the work of sustainability. The Inclusive Sustainability Plan defines “Inclusive Sustainability” as a commitment to improving the environment and the lives of those living within it regardless of income, class, or identity. It seeks to promote all unique cultural and ethnic traditions that support, respect, and provide stewardship for the earth and its resources.
On July 1, 2020, the Campus Sustainability Office and the Office of Inclusive Excellence merged to form the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability.
The fields of sustainability, inclusion, and social justice are intimately connected. The challenges facing sustainability as well as diversity and inclusion are rooted in injustice, inequality, and exploitation. Therefore, the approach for responding to and addressing the challenges cannot be solved independently of each other.
Preparing students for success is the primary mission of CSUMB. Success today (and increasingly into the future) will require people to work together, with diverse people, in response to the critical challenges facing our natural environment. The natural environment is, after all, the one thing we all rely upon to survive and flourish. It is not just the traditional environmental fields that will need to be prepared for this, but all fields of study.
The move to align these two offices will also underscore the need to address sustainability campus-wide. It is not a topic shouldered by facilities alone or by environmental studies faculty and students. Increasingly we see engagement from throughout campus on these topics. The transition to a combined office will help support this trend.
Through their operation and action Sustainability and Inclusive Excellence function similarly at CSUMB and within Higher Education in general. Both areas work broadly across campus to integrate and support a campus culture that emulates its values. How we facilitate conversations and actions corresponds to an increased awareness of the world in which we live and the roles and responsibilities we have in this world. Through collaboration, integration, and strategic planning, this integration will provide opportunities to deepen campus conversations and action.
The Sustainability Office was founded 5 years ago in Facilities Management and has one staff member and many dedicated student employees. The Office of Inclusive Excellence was founded in 2013 and has 3 full-time staff members. Over the next 2 years, the two departments will work to integrate into one office, while maintaining the unique integrity and purpose of each office, in service to the CSUMB community.
The integration of social justice, inclusion, and equity poses similar challenges and opportunities as the field of sustainability. For example, they both: require and inspire individual (students, faculty, staff, and administration) actions and responsibilities, need operational integration, are strengthened by academic partnerships, require adaptive and technical change, are often be perceived as additional work, and are critically important to students and students often actively look to find ways to engage with the campus in each area.
By positioning the two offices in direct connection with each other, it deliberately recognizes the inter-relationship between justice for people and justice for our natural resources and provides an opportunity for our campus to be on the leading edge. We are rising to the challenges of our time. As most of the campus, the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability will continue to do so….from home.
The sustainable goals in bold relate to social justice and inclusion.
- Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
- Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
- Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
- Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, and resilient and sustainable
- Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
- Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
- Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
- Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development