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Thursday, June 20 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Equity in the Design Process

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A variety of people both inside and outside of higher education have been increasingly working on creating a more equitable built environment that works for all community members.  The Living Building Challenge and Living Community Challenge both have an equity petal that has helped to spur and shape that conversation.  One early lesson is that equity in the built environment hinges on equity of process, on hearing the voices of all, including those in traditionally underrepresented groups.  The feedback and decision making structures in higher education - and the building design and construction process - need adjustments to fulfill the promise of equity.  In our work as part of the building process at Williams, we’ve developed lots of questions and thoughts about equity of process and have piloted a variety of techniques, but we are far from having all of the answers.  This session is intended to be a working session where the facilitators will frame the issue and lead discussions and activities to address the following questions:

1. What voices do we struggle to hear and engage in our existing processes?
2. How can we physically get underrepresented stakeholders in to the room for meetings and discussions?
3. How can we structure meetings and discussion to bring out and hear voices that are frequently minimized or marginalized?
4. What tools can we use beyond in-person meetings and discussions to gather concerns, feedback and questions in an equitable and transparent way?

We also hope to demonstrate some innovative discussion and meeting structures during this session as a way of building attendees’ tool-kits for equitable discussions.

Speakers
avatar for Amy Johns

Amy Johns

Director, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College
Amy Johns is the director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College where she works to make the college’s daily operations more sustainable while providing educational opportunities for on-campus communities and off-campus colleagues.  After more than... Read More →
avatar for Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Assistant Director, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College
Mike Evans is the Assistant Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College where he delves into issues of sustainable food, waste diversion, the built environment, and equity & justice. Prior to his time at Williams, he worked in the nonprofit world... Read More →