An examination of diversity in sustainable industries after Derek Chauvin’s conviction

by Luodan Rojas

This week, former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis. After 11 months of unrest and apprehension following George Floyd’s tragic death, we breathe a sigh of relief as jury member after jury member found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter

For our Minneapolis-based EEBA team, this death and subsequent case hit very close to home. As communities struggle with uncertainty, it has become increasingly important to actively face the lack of diversity in our industry. 

There is no question that the conviction of Derek Chauvin brings a sense of justice for all those affected by this case. However, this is only a small step in the right direction.  

The case has sparked widespread calls to action to examine the deeply rooted systemic racism in this country, especially those pertaining to Black people. 

We must continue looking into how the lack of diversity exists in every industry, and the actions we can take to address these crucial issues. 

In the world of sustainability and green building, it is vital that we consider how different communities have disproportionate access to sustainable resources. In many areas, renewable energy sources are virtually nonexistent and sustainable homes are simply unaffordable.  

There is no question that there is diversity within the construction sector, but we still have work to do in expanding opportunities for members of marginalized groups to enter the sustainable building and education industries.  

Sustainable living is not determined solely by fuel types and building materials, it also requires an equitable distribution of resources. 

This is exactly EEBA’s mission. We want to do everything we can to provide the necessary resources to bring more students of color, women, and veterans in transition to join the sustainable building community. Through the EEBA NextGen Scholarship Program, we can offer these opportunities to a larger population. We welcome you to support this program by donating here.

We at EEBA are always looking to expand our community and create connections to help further this mission. Please reach out to us with interests, questions, and/or discussions. 


More resources:

Education Minnesota

8 Black Environmentalists You Need to Know

People of Color Sustainability Collective

NAACP Resource Directory

How Sustainability Professionals Can Uplift the Black Community


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