Social Justice and Inclusion

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 similiarily 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 correspond 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 pose 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, 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 leading edge. We are rising to the challenges of our time. Like most of the of the campus the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability will continue to do so….from home.

Environmental Protection

Protecting our natural resources for future generations of students.

Social Responsibility

Creating an inclusive and encouraging environment for all people

community and inclusion banner by APIA

Affinity Groups

At CSUMB the term Affinity is used to describe clubs and organizations of marginalized communities such as, BSU (Black Students United), M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil ChicanX de Aztlán), APIA (Asian Pacific Islander Association), Melanin Queens, Pride Club, and so much more! Linked below is the website for Affinity Groups. The language of Affinity is shifting into Cultural and Identity groups.

Affinity groups support social justice by advocating for the creation of spaces where marginalized communities can express themselves freely. Groups supporting sustainability or social justice often fail to recognize the intersections within one another. People are directly impacted by the three different pillars of sustainability: environmental health, economic stability, and social equity. The social equity pillar encompasses social justice in a way that represents marginalized individuals. Social justice and environmental justice intersect when acknowledging the history of colonization. Colonizers have exploited and violated people, in the same way they have colonized the land by degrading Earth’s beauty and its natural resources. It is vital that all people in these communities stand in solidarity with one another.

Native American Heritage Month 2017
Native American Heritage Month 2017

Films completed by the students in Stanley Roden's Social Justice Documentary Filmmaking class in Santa Barbara, CA.

Motions by Maerta Waldrop Bergman

We are all so used to having at least someone who will listen to us if we tell our stories. But what if you are followed by a stigma that makes it harder for you to tell your story? Watch on Youtube

Food or Tuition by Genevieve Swords

Many students in our population face the unexpected challenge of not having an adequate amount of food to eat every day. Watch on Youtube