Georgia Tech Connects 1.4 MW Microgrid

The university and Georgia Power recently celebrated the opening of a 1.4-megawatt microgrid, designed to provide clean power locally while also serving as a living laboratory for Georgia Tech, industry and government researchers. The microgrid will provide Georgia Power with insight into how smart energy management systems can interact with the grid to achieve optimal energy use. The installation includes fuel cells, battery storage, diesel generators and a natural gas generator, and it is adaptive to new and additional distributed energy resources.

U California Launches 'Center for Climate Justice'

The new center is a system-wide initiative to address climate change as a social justice and equity issue. The center seeks not only to address the root causes of climate change, but also the broad range of associated social, racial and environmental injustices. The center will be led by management of complex systems professor and UC Presidential Chair Tracey Osborne.

Emory U Farms Fund to Receive $4.8M Grant

The United States Department of Agriculture recently awarded $4.8 million to the university's Working Farms Fund, an initiative supported by a partnership between The Conservation Fund and Emory University that acquires and permanently protects farmland, helping farmers who would not have the means to purchase the land at full market price.

HEI Leaders to Guide Net Zero Endowments Initiative

A group of seventeen leaders from higher education endowments, investment consultants, asset managers and nonprofit partners recently joined together as a steering committee to guide a new Net Zero Endowments initiative hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network. The Net Zero Endowments steering committee aims to accelerate the adoption of net zero portfolio commitments to 50 endowments over the next two years.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Receives $1M for 'Champion Sustainability Fund'

A new partnership between the university and Champion Athleticwear will launch the Champion Sustainability Fund with a $1 million investment from Champion. Once operational, the revolving fund will support several new programs, including the Champion Sustainability Research Accelerator, which will award $50,000 annually to Carolina faculty whose research programs are poised to improve sustainability and environmental outcomes, and the Sustainable Carolina Opportunity Fund, which will provide seed funding for scalable opportunities to advance sustainability.

U Southern California Researchers Partner With LA to Reduce Heat Zones

The new USC Urban Trees Initiative provides a science-based approach to help advance the L.A. Mayor's Green New Deal, which calls for increasing forest canopy specifically in low-income heat zones by 50 percent by 2028.

Smith College Pledges $200,000 to Community Resilience Hub

The university's $200,000 pledge towards the Community Resilience Hub aims to support residents who face chronic and acute stress due to natural and human-caused disasters, climate change and social and economic challenges.

Maine HEIs Join Renewable Energy Consortium

Bowdoin College, Colby College, the Maine Community College System, Maine Maritime Academy, and the University of Maine have joined with 18 other Maine businesses, schools and towns in signing long-term energy contracts with 33 new renewable projects in the state.

U Pennsylvania Pledges $100M for Environmental Remediation

The University of Pennsylvania will donate $100 million over 10 years to the School District of Philadelphia to help remove asbestos, lead, and other environmental hazards from the district’s buildings.

Six HEIs Launch Racial Equity Leadership Alliance

The presidents of Depauw University, and Macalester, Oberlin, Occidental, Pomona and Skidmore colleges are co-founding the Liberal Arts Colleges and Racial Equity Leadership Alliance to address racial inequities at liberal arts colleges. They have been joined by the presidents of 45 other institutions, and are collaborating with the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Southern California.

Loyola U Maryland Creates Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice

Loyola University Maryland’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Loyola College of Arts and Sciences are launching the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice to address racial inequities locally and nationally. The institute aims to provide a space for researchers, students, social justice workers and activists to come together to research, discuss, debate and explore answers to critical questions on inequality, injustice and racial inequity in the United States.

U Pittsburgh Partners to Deliver Meal Kits to Community

Pitt’s Dining Services and the Office of Community and Governmental Relations recently partnered with Pitt’s dining services provider to hand out 5,000 meal boxes provided through the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program. The meal kits, made up of meat, dairy and produce boxes, plus a gallon of milk, are designed to provide enough food for 10 family meals. Items inside included chicken, butter, cheese, eggs, apples, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

U Massachusetts Amherst Begins Equity & Climate Change Project

The new project called Elevating Equity Values in the Transition of the Energy System (ELEVATE) unites scholars from across disciplines to conduct research at the intersection of electricity technology, climate science, social equity, and energy economics and policy, with the aim of ensuring transformation of the electric grid is both sustainable and benefits all members of society equitably. The program was awarded two grants totaling $6.3 million from the National Science Foundation.

U North Carolina Charlotte Uses $20M Grant to Expand Center for Youth With Disabilities

With a five-year award of more than $20 million from the U.S. Department of Education, the university's National Technical Assistance Center on Transition for Students and Youth with Disabilities will expand their national effort to improve employment, education and community integration for students and youth with disabilities.

NCAA Hosts Diversity & Inclusion Social Media Campaign

The Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign, happening Oct. 26 - 29, is a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness and engagement, and educating about importance of inclusive environments in college sports.

Eight Institutions Form 'Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery'

British Columbia Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, SAIT Polytechnic, Mohawk College, Seneca College, Nergica, Nova Scotia Community College, and Holland College formed the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery. The Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will help young people receive training needed to take part in a sustainable, climate-focused post-COVID-19 economic recovery. They will have quarterly online meetings to allow participating institutions to share their recovery solutions and will host webinars by faculty and researchers from the eight institutions.

Loyola U Chicago Center to Focus on Supply Chain Sustainability

Housed in the university's Business Leadership Hub, the Supply and Value Chain Center changed its name recently to the Supply Chain and Sustainability Center to reflect the increased importance of sustainability across industries. The center will continue to offer programs, education and applied research to its members, including the supply chain and sustainability management essential certificate program.

William & Mary Partners to Offer Scholarships

A recent partnership with The Posse Foundation will enable the college to provide full scholarships to diverse cohorts of students, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college.

U California Los Angeles Develops Anti-Racism Hub Focusing on Asian Americans

A new website, the Movement Hub, was developed by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge to serve as a centralized platform to amplify on-the-ground activism and organizing by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The website offers resources for and by AAPI organizations to promote cross-racial unity.

Saint Louis U Establishes Institute for Healing Justice & Equity

A new institute at Saint Louis University has been established to help eliminate disparities caused by systemic oppression and to promote healing. The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity will begin its work with a founding investment by SLU of more than $1.7 million. Through research, training, community engagement and public policy development, the institute will help build equitable communities by assessing and promoting best practices that foster healing from social injustice, trauma and oppression.

Cornell U Receives $1.5M to Help Increase Digital Tech Access

Cornell engineers and researchers were recently awarded $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to collaborate with community partners to design the nation’s first statewide Internet of Things public infrastructure in an effort to reduce the barriers to access to digital technology.

Washington Monthly Publishes 'Best Colleges for Student Voting' List

Compiled from information through All In Campus Democracy Challenge and the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University, the Washington Monthly ranking measures how well colleges encourage their students to vote, boosting democratic participation and civic engagement. This year, a total of 157 schools made the list, which was ordered by the voter registration rate.

Sam Houston State U Students Construct Solar Shade

In August, students completed a design-build solar charging station project at the city-owned pool.

Georgia Tech Introduces SDGs Initiative

The university recently announced that it will use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to implement its new strategic plan, advance organizational innovation, strengthen the university’s local and global collaborations, and address urgent challenges such as COVID-19 and racial injustice.

U Illinois Chicago Receives $5M for Public Health Clinics

The university recently received $5 million to support the UIC-Shawnee Health Service Black Lung Clinics Program for five more years. The program provides diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and compensation counseling services to coal miners living in Illinois and Indiana. Additionally, a $625,000 grant will support its Black Lung Data and Resource Center, which serves as a national resource, and a $400,000 grant will allow the center to expand its research on health outcomes among former coal miners.

Davidson College Issues Apology for Benefiting From Slavery

The college recently issued a public apology for its support of slavery during the college’s first 30 years and its embrace of the unjust laws and false ideas that upheld racist systems and practices after slavery was outlawed. In tandem with the apology, the college released a report from the Commission on Race and Slavery, which proposes funding and action steps for building name changes, anti-racism training, auditing admissions and hiring with a racial equity lens, and further research and public education about the college's history where intertwined with slavery.

William & Mary Establishes Social Justice Policy Initiative

Starting this fall, the new Social Justice Policy Initiative in the sociology department is a faculty-student collaborative project to engage in policy-oriented and community-based research and advocacy. The initiative aims to bring sociological and interdisciplinary research to community-based and advocacy organizations and policy-makers at local, state, national and global levels. The initial projects are affordable housing, educational equity, eviction crisis, racial and partisan gerrymandering, food justice, and local black histories.

Pennsylvania HEIs Partner With Municipalities on Climate Action

Twelve Pennsylvania colleges and universities are participating in the state's Department of Environmental Protection's Local Climate Action Program, which pairs municipalities with college students for assistance in developing the components of their local climate action plans. The participants learn how to measure local greenhouse gas emissions, assess local climate-related vulnerabilities and develop plans to reduce emissions and manage climate change impacts in their communities.

U Virginia Opens 'Memorial to Enslaved Laborers'

Designed by Thomas Jefferson and built by enslaved people, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, recognizing Black workers subjected to slavery and racism and offers a place of healing as well as learning. The circular shape of the memorial echoes broken shackles and also the “ring shout,” a traditional dance of enslaved African Americans.

U Hawai'i Receives $1.5M for Food & Ag Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced a $1.5 million grant to the university to expand education programs focused on food, agriculture and natural resources. Nine campuses will share $1.04 million for education and training resources for underrepresented individuals and businesses to break the cycle of resource and employment insecurity. UH Maui College will receive close to $500,000 to support a research methods and communications course and internships with local industry and nonprofit organizations to prepare students for science-based careers, particularly in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences.

Five International Universities Receive $20K for Civic Engagement

The Talloires Network recently awarded a total of $100,000 to five university-community partnerships around the world responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The grantees are Meridian Global University (Cameroon) and the Access Care Foundation; Mount Kenya University (Kenya) and Partners for Care; Veracruz University (Mexico) and the Veracruz State Department of the Environment; National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (Nicaragua) in Managua in collaboration with municipal mayors and non-profit community institutions; and University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) and the Glen Norah Community Cooperative. The grants are part of the University Award for Innovative Civic Engagement, a program established by the Talloires Network in partnership with Open Society Foundations.

MIT Launches Climate Change & Global Poverty Initiative

With a founding $25 million gift from King Philanthropies, MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is launching the King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI). The new initiative will study programs reducing the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations, and then work with policymakers to scale up the most successful interventions. K-CAI intends to help improve the lives of at least 25 million people over the next decade. Its first funded projects will be selected by the end of 2020.

Three HEIs Sign Onto Sports for Climate Action Framework

The Ohio State University, Wake Forest University and the University of Miami recently signed onto the U.N.'s Sports for Climate Action Framework joining the University of Colorado Boulder. Signatories of the framework commit to five core principles in environmental responsibility, climate impact, education, consumption, and advocating and communication. Globally over 120 athletics programs have signed onto the framework.