Published: Oct. 3, 2020

Dear EVEN community,

Earlier this summer, EVEN released a message to our community in response to the conversation about diversity, inclusion, and social justice. In this message, we outlined four immediate steps that we, as a program, would undertake in support of our community. Our commitment to these actions remains strong amid continued conversations regarding racial injustice fueled by continuing events.

Today, I would like to provide you with an update on our progress regarding these initial action items:

  1. The EVEN undergraduate curriculum committee, led by Prof. Jana Milford, has started a comprehensive review of our curriculum, looking to include and integrate the topic of environmental justice within our courses. As part of this process, we have completed two town halls with undergraduate students, where we have listened to feedback on changes to our curriculum. A final set of recommendations will be evaluated by the EVEN faculty for implementation, and will be communicated to the community.
  2. The Society of Environmental Engineers (SEVEN), in collaboration with the Environmental Engineering Program, the BOLD Center, and CU Boulder’s chapters of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, have launched the Environmental Justice Seminar Series. This series launched on September 21 with a webinar by Dr. Katie Dickenson on environmental justice aspects of oil and gas development in Colorado. We had more than 100 participants, including students, faculty, and members of the larger EVEN community. Our next presentation will be on October 19 by Dr. Adrienne Katner, who will focus on drinking water infrastructure inequality. We hope you will join! 
  3. We continue to have conversations with the BOLD Center and others at the College of Engineering and Applied Science on how to expand opportunities for our students and support our community, including our underrepresented members.
  4. EVEN is also making continuing efforts toward improving our recruitment and support structure for our students. We will also be working on the implementation of components of the campus’ Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) plan, focusing on both student recruitment and retention.

Lastly, we encourage all members of the EVEN community to complete the Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Training for all students and university employees and affiliates if you have not done so already.

We will continue to explore additional ways in which we can support our community. Our commitment is long-term, and we will continue to provide updates. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to talk about any of our action items or what we are doing to achieve them. I want to encourage you all to stay involved and participate in our program, college, and campus opportunities.  

Fernando Rosario-Ortiz
EVEN Program Director