October 23, 2016
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UNCF Hosts "Building Green Learning Institute"

SAN ANTONIO, TX -UNCF-the United Negro College Fund-the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, is hosting its third Building Green Learning Institute on June 10-12  at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel  in San Antonio, TX.   More than 100 representatives from minority-serving two-and four-year colleges and universities, along with the nation's top green building and sustainability experts will participate in the learning institute.


"Climate change is a global issue and a driving force for building green. But it's also a challenge for every institution in the country," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. UNCF president and CEO. "Because just as environmental sustainability is key to our national economic health and vitality, so it is a critical part of the economic sustainability of the institutions within the economy, and that definitely includes our colleges and universities.  Educating good citizens, and being good institutional citizens, has always been part of the DNA of HBCUs and other MSIs. And building green is very much part of that tradition."


The Building Green Learning Institute is part of UNCF's Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) initiative, which is underwritten by a $1.8 million grant from the Kresge Foundation.  The green building initiative is part of UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building, a $25 million institutional improvement program that helps UNCF's 39 member historically black colleges and universities become stronger and more self-sustaining.  In addition to providing MSIs with information and resources to develop capacity for campus sustainability projects, this initiative aims to accomplish two major goals: to increase the number of buildings and structures on minority-serving institution campuses that register for and achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification and to increase the number of MSIs that are signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.


Workshops focusing on financing green building, energy efficiency and retrofits, renewable energy technologies, and historic preservation and sustainability are planned along with a faculty discussion of emerging environmental curriculum trends and energy audit training for college students. The featured speakers for the San Antonio Institute include Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of UNCF member institution Spelman College; Robert Stanton Senior Advisor to Secretary of Interior Salazar; and Lisa Garcia, Senior Advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

The San Antonio event is the third and final 2010 Building Green Institute.  Each of the three institutes incorporated a unique cultural focus: salsa jazz and traditional mariachi players in San Antonio, jazz in Atlanta and American Indian tribal dance and singing in Minneapolis. Past keynote speakers included environmental justice advocate Majora Carter, President and CEO of Majora Carter Group; environmentalist Winona LaDuke and Clark Atlanta President Carlton Brown. 


"The Kresge grant has provided UNCF the opportunity to partner with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, American Indian Higher Education Consortium and Second Nature to help prepare all minority-serving institutions to integrate sustainability into their short and long-term planning," said Elfred A. Pinkard, Ph.D. executive director of the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building.


Institutions participating in the Building Green Institutes will be invited to participate in a sustainability assessment and MSI Green Report Card followed by a series of workshops and webinars. 


"Minority-serving institutions have a significant contribution to combating climate change by

 maximizing energy efficiency and sustainable practices," declared Felicia Davis, director of the UNCF ICB Facilities and Infrastructure Enhancement program.  "MSIs possess an extraordinary opportunity to lead by example and ICB is here to help," added Davis.



About UNCF

UNCF-the United Negro College Fund-is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization.  To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education.  UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org


Institute For Capacity Building

The purpose of UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building (ICB), the UNCF unit that is offering the Building Green at MSIs Initiative, is to strengthen the overall capacity of its 39 member private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  ICB was launched in 2006 with the purpose of developing higher admission, retention and graduation rates, effective fundraising and fiscal management operations and opportunities for innovative teaching and learning across its network of colleges and universities. The work of ICB is focused in six programmatic areas critical to the mission of any institution of higher learning:  enrollment and retention, fundraising, academic programming and faculty development, financial management, executive leadership and governance and campus facilities.

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