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Driving innovative sustainability and climate solutions by transforming communities, cities, and factories.

Driving innovative sustainability and climate solutions by transforming communities, cities, and factories.

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ISC has worked on more than 100 projects in 30 countries throughout the world. We currently focus on countries with the largest share of climate emissions, and those hardest hit by the global climate crisis.

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ISC Statement on SCOTUS Affirmative Action Decision

Though not entirely unexpected, yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to dismantle Affirmative Action in college and university admissions is a clear reminder that our society  continues to struggle against structural and institutional racism. Affirmative Action is one of the hallmark policies that ensures institutions of higher education achieve equity in admissions, providing everyone the opportunity to succeed, especially students of color who have long been underrepresented.

We know that diversity at all levels – students, faculty, staff – provide the richest learning environments and ultimately the most engaging, thoughtful, and innovative dialogue. Diversity in  higher education informs diversity in the workplace as those same students continue into their chosen professions backed by valuable lived experiences, discourse exchange, and knowledge. 

For the field of climate change, which is intrinsically intertwined with racial and social justice, the SCOTUS decision has lasting, real life repercussions. Black people and other people of color are already underrepresented in climate work, particularly in leadership and policy-creation positions. Ending Affirmative Action worsens outcomes not only for students of color interested in climate work, but for communities of color. These communities’ interests and well-being continue to be overlooked through lack of representation as well as historical and continued disinvestment. 

At the Institute for Sustainable Communities, we are intentional in collaborating with partners that are rich in diversity and are committed to uplifting the voices, knowledge, and the interests of communities and leaders of color. We have proven  that the only way to create lasting change, in climate work and beyond, is through locally-led, people-focused, diverse partnerships. 

This ruling is antithetical to our work and to finding the solutions needed to address the existing climate crisis. We are extremely disheartened by the SCOTUS’ majority decision. As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson aptly stated, “Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life. And having so detached itself from this country’s actual past and present experiences, the Court has now been lured into interfering with the crucial work that UNC and other institutions of higher learning are doing to solve America’s real-world problems.”