Our conversation today examines the future of green building through two different lenses. First, we discuss human rights and race relations as it relates to equal access to green buildings and a healthy environment with Francisco Salinas, Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion at Boise State University. In the wake of the Ferguson Grand jury decision and President Obama’s executive order on immigration reform, and during Thanksgiving week, a holiday with undertones of racial unrest due to the history of interactions between European immigrants and Native Americans, we felt this was a timely topic.
George Bandy, Vice President of Sustainability with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has asked green building supporters to “get uncomfortable” in the ways that they promote the green building movement. George is asking us to step outside of our comfort zone to really move the needle and push for progress in ways that we have not in the past. The U.S.Green Building Council is walking this talk with the recent roll out of a pilot Social Equity Credit in the LEED certification program. We decided to get uncomfortable and brought Mr. Salinas on the show to discuss issues we have not addressed on Building a Greener Idaho – the sensitive topics of human rights, race relations and environmental justice as barriers to achieving the goal of green buildings for all. Francisco shares with us his experience promoting diversity and inclusion at Boise State University, his views on the socioeconomic status of people of color in Idaho, and methods we can employ to improve the health and quality of life of vulnerable populations. Leaders like Mr. Salinas make it clear why the future of green building is inclusive.
Following our conversation with Francisco, we check back in with Cierra Shaver, a graduate student in the University of Idaho Master of Architecture program and returning Building a Greener Idaho guest. Cierra recounts her experiences studying architecture, conducting an energy resource study for Boise’s Central Addition neighborhood, working at the Integrated Design Lab and interning for McKibben + Cooper Architects. Ms. Shaver provides some insights into what her next steps will be after graduation and her ideal green job. It’s been fun tracking a green building design professional in the making. We look forward to her continued contributions to the green building profession.
Our interview aired on Radio Boise 11-25-2014. You can listen to live shows by tuning in to Radio Boise Tuesdays @ 3 PM on 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream online @ http://www.radioboise.org.
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