top of page

Open Letter From Sustainability: We Must Do The Work

Dear Sustainability Community,

We want to reach out, to share some of our thoughts on the national events that have transpired since George Floyd’s death and to share what we in the Sustainability Office intend to do. We are heartbroken, not only about the death of George Floyd, but about the systems, structures, habits, practices and inaction that led to his death and the unjust death of thousands upon thousands of black people before him. So what will we do? The Sustainability Office is made up of people, and each of us will pursue our own personal path outside of work, learning, stretching and engaging as our individual circumstances allow. But, as an office in a college like Dartmouth that both perpetuates the systems of power that lead to our current society and also generates ideas and educates change makers who can dismantle those systems of power, we have an obligation to act.

What will our office do?

We will amplify the voices of Dartmouth students who are Black and Indigenous, POC, and other marginalized identities. That includes on our social media platforms. We will create spaces for our community to learn, challenge ourselves, and for students and our staff to understand and practice effective allyship. We will help create and highlight connections between the sustainability cause and the causes of justice, building honorable partnerships that center the needs, wisdom, and leadership of Black and Indigenous people, and POC. We will work to hold Dartmouth accountable, to promote thoughtful, compassionate action working within institution. We will take action. Right now those actions include:

We commit to providing access to resources that support intersectional justice work for people on all parts of the activist spectrum. We will create transparency in our process and progress as an office as we work to build Sustainability programs that are actively anti-racist. We are creating space for students to talk, listen and learn, including Make Space zoom calls and coffee chats, and, one day soon we hope, in person conversations.

We will identify more, concrete action steps and report back to you about them, following up with our plan.

We will educate ourselves by listening, watching and reading. We all have individualized learning plans. We are taking trainings. We are creating work space to read, listen and learn. We will hold each other accountable. We will call each other on missteps and we will treat each other kindly. We are listening. Please feel free to reach out if you have ideas, worries, need space to talk, need to share an idea for action or anything else. We are here to support you, our students, so please call on us to do so.

Here are two resources we are using now to help us chart our actions, as individuals and as an office. We are using many more so please reach out if you’d like more resources, or if you have resources to share.

Compiled by action type: A guide for white allies: The Susty Team

bottom of page