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2019 GPSEN Sustainability Symposium to be hosted at PCC Cascade 3/8/19

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GPSEN Sustainability Symposium – RCE Greater Portland

We are excited to share that the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network’s (GPSEN) Sustainability Symposium: Building Bridges to Sustainability will be co-hosted by PCC. The Sustainability Symposium is GPSEN’s signature event. It will be held on March 8th, 2019 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at Cascade Campus. Proposal submissions to present at the symposium are open until January 6th so if you have a great regional sustainability project or initiative to share, by all means submit a proposal!

Logo_regional center of expertise

GPSEN is known globally as Greater Portland RCE, RCE is short for Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. There are currently 166 RCE’s worldwide that are acknowledged by United Nations University. RCE’s are designed to help connect local, regional, and global sustainability networks to create pathways towards Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across the world.

RCEs-of-Americas-930x675GPSEN participated at this years 7th RCE Meeting of the Americas Regional conference in October,  held in Posadas, Argentina. The theme of that meeting was: ESD, Conservation and Climate Change in the 2030 Agenda.  GPSEN’s Executive Director Neeraja Havaligi shared a nice report of her experience there that is certainly worth checking out.

11th Global RCE Awards

And just last week, three members of GPSEN, including myself, attended and presented at the 11th Global RCE Conference: Education for the Sustainable Development Goals in Cebu, Philippines as well. And it was an incredible surprise to have all three of us accept global RCE Awards for the regional work we are doing through GPSEN. Serena Dressel, recent graduate fo PSU and GPSEN College Network member, received an Acknowledged Flagship Project for PSU’s Intensive English Language Program which helps tremendously to increase awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).  And to my great astonishment, the PCC Sustain Me! podcast won an Acknowledged Flagship Project Award as well. Kim Smith, a sociology instructor at PCC and one of the founders of GPSEN accepted an Honorable Mention Project for our GPSEN Fellows Program. It truly was an honor to be a part of this Global RCE Conference and it is exciting to help bring more awareness to, and see how we are connected with, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Now we have an opportunity to see how these 17 SDG’s can be addressed here in the Portland area.

Sustainable Development Goals

The GPSEN Sustainability Symposium is our RCE’s local conference which provides opportunities to showcase and highlight the work being done right here in the greater Portland area. The theme is Building Bridges to Sustainability and as mentioned above, all the work being done is connected to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals which are to be achieved by 2030. There’s no reason to sugar coat the climate crisis that we are now facing. It is baked in to this cake and now we must actively pursue ways to navigate the future we’ve helped create. The SDG’s are 17 individual tools or resources that are connected to one another and collectively are designed to help us mitigate the worst potential consequences of the climate disruption humans have participated in creating. Below is the mission of the RCE’s. It is a great way to get a better understanding of the role they play globally, regionally, and locally:

RCE Mission Statement

And so, the GPSEN Sustainability Symposium: Building Bridges to Sustainability is a way for us to ideally find more and better ways to help be a part of the solution moving forward. It is also an opportunity for us to help make the sustainability movement as inclusive and accessible as possible. We are all in this together though there have been systems in place that have not allowed us all to have an equitable seat at the decision making, and leadership, table. We hope to help address this and in every way we can, help to dismantle the systems of oppression that have been at play to make social justice and sustainability seem like two separate issues when indeed they are one. Diversity, equity and inclusion are paramount if we are to find success moving forward. If you are engaged in work that relates to environmental justice, sustainability, or social justice and would like to share you or your groups project or initiative, please do submit a proposal today!