NESEA’s mission is to advance the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment by cultivating a community where practitioners share, collaborate and learn; we cannot achieve that mission without honoring our commitments to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our programming and to welcome historically underrepresented people into the community at-large.
As a reflection of these commitments, NESEA has two individuals shepherding this work: Andrea Mancino serves as our board liaison for DEI and Florence MacGregor serves as the staff point person. If you have questions, suggestions, or would like to be involved with this work, please contact Florence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are some of the steps we have taken as we continue to continue to diversity our community in terms of age, race, and gender identity and other identity markers and to make our content more accessible:
What We Offer
- We offer women- and BIPOC-owned businesses a discount on sponsorship and exhibiting for our two annual conferences.
- When we solicit proposals for conference sessions, Pro Tour projects, and other program content we ask for short statements explaining how each proposal connects to themes of equity, diversity, or social and/or environmental justice. We prioritize proposals that make a clear connection.
- We offer BIPOC-owned businesses scholarships for participation in Bottom Lines, our business development program.
- A group of Bottom Lines participants, the Anti-Racist Action Group, which formed in 2020, meets regularly to strategize about combatting racism in the industry and more broadly.
- We've adopted an anti-harassment policy to support the experience of our community.
- We reserve space at every BuildingEnergy conference for members to organize a Diversity Caucus, a member-driven event designed by and for people who are traditionally underrepresented in the high performance building sector, the trades, and other related fields.
- We offer scholarships to our programs and a volunteer work exchange program at our conferences to mitigate financial barriers to participation.
- During our virtual conferences, we added a feature to allow attendees to easily share their pronouns.
- At in-person events, attendees will have the option to add their pronouns to their badges. We have also standardized asking participants in our virtual meetings to add their pronouns to their display name.
- Starting with BuildingEnergy Boston 2022, we will work with venues to offer gender neutral bathrooms.
- We collect basic demographic information during all event registration.
- We are planning listening sessions in 2022 to gain community feedback to improve our DEI efforts.
- We are expanding our Emerging Professionals program to create mentorship and workforce development programs with outreach specifically geared towards individuals from environmental justice communities or other communities who have been less represented in the high performance building community.
- We use the Kate Goldstein Fund for Emerging Professionals to support specific facets of our DEI work, particularly supporting the next generation of leaders.
Members of the NESEA community can expect periodic updates from our Board of Directors. Here are our previous updates:
- 1/13/2022: Annual Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Update from NESEA Board Chair
- 5/11/2021: Diversity Caucus Incident: Response from NESEA Leadership
- 10/27/2020: 2nd Annual Diversity Caucus Report Board Response
- 6/3/2020: NESEA Commits to Being an Anti-Racist Organization
- 10/21/2019: NESEA Diversity Caucus Report
The following figures reflect demographic information for NESEA events through December 2020. Revised information for 2021 is coming soon.
NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.