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Mid-October Newsletter

Congratulations to Portland Community College, which just won the 2017 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for two-year colleges! The national honor recognizes innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience at signatory campuses of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership CommitmentsSecond Nature and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that Loyola University Chicago (a four-year college) and PCC are the only recipients of this highly competitive national award. GPSEN Board member Briar Schoon, PCC’s Sustainability Manager, will be heading to the national Greenbuild Conference next month to accept the award on PCC’s behalf. Read more about this prestigious honor.

This month we celebrate UN Day, October 24, which commemorates the day the United Nations was officially born in 1945 out of the ashes of World War II. We invite you to celebrate this historic event with us on Sunday, October 22 at Global Goals, Local Leaders, a free event GPSEN that is co-sponsored with the UN Association PortlandHosteling International, and GlobalPDX. See details below.

We pause here to reflect on the announcement last week that the United States is withdrawing from UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Please take a moment to listen to the UNESCO Director’s powerful statement about why she regrets the US withdrawal and why UNESCO is important to the American people. UNESCO’s website also offers a wealth of information about its programs and about education for sustainable development.

GPSEN is proud to be a part of UN University’s worldwide RCE network, which serves a valuable educational function as part of an effort to carry out UNESCO’s Global Action Program to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs were unanimously approved by UN Members, including the US, in 2015. We will continue to carry on this work, because we are all engaged in learning and teaching ways to create a healthier, more peaceful, just, equitable, and sustainable world. That begins at home and in our communities, not in the distant marble halls of politics. We look forward to the day when all of the nations of the world are working together to achieve a better future for all of the people and creatures that share our planet. We invite you to join GPSEN as a volunteerpartner, or sponsor in this important work.

For more information, view our mid-October Newsletter.

Lin Harmon-Walker
GPSEN Executive Director

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November News

Congratulations to GPSEN partner Trash for Peace, which won an EPA grant for its Sustainability Education Program. Trash for Peace will be partnering with Home ForwardPeople-Places-ThingsConfluence Environmental CenterLeaven Community, and the City of Gresham. The work will foster environmental sustainability and stewardship through solid waste disposal education for youth at various affordable housing properties in areas that have high rates of poverty and lack options for proper trash disposal and recycling. We are proud to have Trash for Peace president, Laura Kutner on GPSEN’s board of directors.

Congratulations are also in order to Portland Community College for winning the 2017 Climate Leadership Award. PCC is a founding member of GPSEN and is committed to working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. You can learn more about PCC’s commitment to sustainability practices and sustainability education in this video by PCC president, Mark Mitsui.

We want to thank everyone who came to the “Global Goals, Local Leaders” celebration of UN Day at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in October. It was a remarkable event, with excellent food for thought provided by our inspiring speakers, Djimet Dogo from Africa House and Jordie Hannum from the Better World Campaign (pictured below). We also thank the volunteers from GPSEN, the United Nations Association-Portland and Hosteling International USA-Portland Hawthorne Hostel who helped make it happen.

View our November newsletter

Lin Harmon-Walker
GPSEN Executive Director

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