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Sustainability Summit keynote speaker Ian Garrett will address the intersection of sustainability, social justice and resiliency.

​Contact: Debra Dennis

For immediate release — Oct. 28, 2019

When colleges adopt sustainability practices at an institutional level, they help ensure social justice, renewable energy and a quality education.

Dallas County Community College District hopes to expand on that mission during its annual Sustainability Summit set for Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Eastfield College, located at 3737 Motley Drive in Mesquite.

This year’s theme for the conference is “Sustainability as a Social Justice Practice: Developing Resilient Strategies.”

This information-sharing event supports the district in its role of transforming lives and communities through higher education. DCCCD uses the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a teaching and learning framework at the summit and in the classroom.

Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor, has been a firm supporter of DCCCD’s commitment to be a sustainability thought leader in the community.

“Our intention is to educate and inspire citizens as well as our students and educators to look for opportunities to make a positive difference in the community,” May said.

The speakers at this conference will share their ideas for solving the climate crisis and their thoughts about creating a cleaner, healthier and safer world, said Georgeann Moss, the district’s executive administrator of sustainability.

“Although the challenges are complex and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are audacious, everyone in the community can be a part of the solution,” Moss said.

The summit’s keynote speaker is Ian Garrett. He will address the intersection of sustainability, social justice and resiliency. His topic is: “We Made It Up: Creativity as a Driver of Change.”

Garrett, an associate professor of ecological design for performance at York University, received his undergraduate degree from Rice University and his Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts. He is co-founder and director of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), a think tank for sustainability in the arts and culture, and an assistant professor of ecological design for performance at York University in Toronto.

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“For Dallas County residents to survive and thrive, we need a strong economy, a healthy environment and the peace of mind that comes from feeling safe in our communities,” Moss said. “This summit offers ideas to help us achieve those goals.”

The summit is open to the public as well and students and employees of DCCCD. The following groups will be particularly interested in the summit’s topics:

  • Corporate and business managers
  • Business owners
  • Facilities personnel
  • Social justice advocates
  • Teachers and administrators

The summit will include 20 breakout sessions and two workshops. Topics include:

  • Social equity
  • Facilities management
  • Institutionalizing sustainability
  • Resource and energy efficiency
  • Teaching sustainability (K-16)

The DCCCD Sustainability Summit premiered nine years ago at Eastfield College and rotates annually to one of DCCCD’s seven colleges.

There is no charge. However, participants must register by Nov. 4 to be eligible for the complimentary lunch. To register and for a complete schedule of breakout sessions, visit

Sustainability as a Social Justice Practice

Last year, DCCCD began exploring the social justice aspects of sustainability by hosting several events designed to spark conversations and ideas among students and employees.

The first event was a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Walking While Black,” which made its Dallas premiere at El Centro College. It was followed by a series of social justice speakers at various events throughout the district. This past summer, DCCCD’s Office of Sustainability hosted a “Cost of Poverty Experience” to help employees better understand and address the challenges faced by its low-income students who face heartbreaking financial choices.

Georgeann Moss is executive administrator of sustainability. In 2007, she co-founded the DCCCD Sustainability Team. Her email address is

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