The CSF’s mission is to foster an environmentally and socially engaged university culture and create a sustainable campus by funding multidisciplinary, student initiated and led projects. Guided by student oversight through each phase of the grantmaking and project management process, our work aims to increase campus-wide social equity, community resilience, and climate action.
At its core, the CSF provides opportunities for UW students to engage in the proposal, planning, and implementation of sustainability-oriented projects from conceptual design to project management through completion. Through this process, the CSF envisions its role as a catalyst for dialogue and proposed solutions to environmental justice concerns, threats to longevity, and other societal problems that have a disproportionately negative impact on communities of color, and, in particular, on Black and Indigenous peoples
Core Organizational Values:
Sustainability & Environmental Justice — The CSF acknowledges that sustainability cannot exist without a justice-centered approach. The climate crisis disproportionately impacts BIPOC and we know that our organization must be mindful of this while approaching our work — ensuring that our efforts are equity focused and include the expertise and leadership of BIPOC and aim to directly benefit BIPOC. The CSF seeks to support Indigenous Sovereignty wherever possible — as well as collectively learning more about what that means for our organization. This takes time and effort, and the CSF is committed to the ongoing process of active solidarity and allyship. One way that we track our progress toward environmental justice / Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is through our Project Statistics Dashboard. However, much of this work is not measurable and is about relationship building that takes place over years.
Anti-racism and intersectionality — As a part of the evolution of the CSF, we are committed to having discussions and actions that address environmental racism; anti-blackness; racial, economic, gendered and political exclusion, accessibility & ableism in sustainability practices; and how these show up and can be addressed within our work. We understand the ways in which mainstream and historic sustainability movements have disproportionately been led by and for white, able bodied and already most privileged communities — and in many cases has been used as a weapon against the same communities who are already disproportionately impacted by climate change while contributing little impact towards it. We are committed to creating an environment where students can explore and be supported in their unique and varying identities — as well as sharing how our (staff & committee) individual identities inform our thinking, action, and lived experience of sustainability.
Resilience & Wellbeing — Resilience, compassion, emotional and physical wellbeing of students are part of what keeps the movement of sustainability going. We must take care of the wellbeing of students and our community in order to maintain environmental and social sustainability initiatives at the UW campus. We respect and support the unique ways in which diverse communities foster resilience especially in response to disproportionate health and environmental impacts on BIPOC communities caused by systemic racism.
Student Leadership & Empowerment — The CSF is intentional about structuring its organization in a way that does not follow a vertical hierarchical decision-making structure, rather embraces a collaborative and cooperative structure of work. In doing so, we emphasize learning and skill building beyond quantitative outcomes and production. We cultivate space for learning and growing that allows for creativity and free-thinking as much as possible. Through this way of work and communication within our staff, we seek to dismantle parts of white supremacy culture and to model the culture that we promote through our grantmaking. (White Supremacy Culture, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun: link)