During the April Equity Working Group meeting, Coalition members voted to adopt two definitions prepared by the Training and Education subcommittee of the Equity team: Equity and Equitable Building Decarbonization.
Equity: Holding ourselves and one another accountable to inclusion in a society in which all can participate, prosper, have value, and reach their full potential. We recognize and work to dismantle injustices, systems, and barriers that prevent some from achieving this goal.
Equitable Building Decarbonization: To remove the hazard of fossil fuel usage in buildings and facilitate access to carbon-free heating, water heating, and cooking, while prioritizing BIPOC/ intersectional identities and empowering poor, low- and moderate-income households and underserved communities with clean technologies and infrastructure including:
- Equitable outcomes in who produces and who benefits from decarbonization; and
- Leadership of enterprises and communities most impacted by the burdens of energy and environmental injustices.
Callie Scipio, Coalition member and Executive Administrator at the Fort Wayne Urban League, helped shape the definitions and writing process as a co-chair of the Equity Team’s Training and Education subcommittee. She sees this work as directly connected to her mission at the Urban League: putting equity first, and centering people who are under-served.
“I want people to understand that Midwest BDC is Equity First and People First,” she says of the definitions. In addition to creating shared understanding among members, Callie also sees definitions as an important part of onboarding and recruitment.
“We have people in meetings who are longtime members alongside brand new members,” she shared. By establishing what equity means to the Coalition, she hopes all of the members—new and old—are better prepared to participate, contribute, and learn.
Learning, and sharing knowledge about equitable building decarbonization is one of Callie’s motivators as a Coalition leader. In committee meetings, Callie has been impressed with the knowledge and passion people already had for decarbonization. But to her, the learning process is a journey and not an end.
“If you’ve been here 1000 years, you still have something to learn.”
For anyone new to building decarbonization, or someone who wants to get involved in the equitable energy transition here in the Midwest, Midwest BDC has plenty of ways to engage. You can register for an upcoming orientation here, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or watch a recording of our Building Decarbonization 101 training to get the details behind the definition.