Dear NESEA Community,
I’m pleased to provide the NESEA Board of Director’s annual update on efforts and progress put forth towards Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI
). We formalized providing this annual update as part of our official response to recommendations from the 2019 Diversity Caucus at BuildingEnergy Boston; as the board’s DEI liaison, I’ve worked closely with our newly minted Executive Director, Florence MacGregor, and my colleagues on the board to build on progress we’ve made towards community recommendations — both from the Diversity Caucus report and elsewhere —while also thinking creatively to adopt new practices and initiatives. I’m so grateful to the whole NESEA board, staff, and the volunteers who participate in and lead our programming for their efforts to implement and shape our work in this sphere.
Last May, after a months-long process soliciting and curating feedback, the Board adopted NESEA’s 2022 Strategic Plan
. In this plan, we committed to “embrac[ing] the work of anti-racism and becom[ing] more just and equitable” as a top priority to guide our content and our operations. We pledged to highlight the linkages between anti-oppression, equity, justice, and sustainability in our programming and to evaluate our daily work through this lens. This priority, along with the other four priorities articulated in the Strategic Plan, will shape the organization over the next five years.
We were thrilled to receive a grant
from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
to support our next steps into this work. This grant funds the development of BuildingEnergy Access
, a new program we hope to launch and bring to scale. The program is intended to support businesses owned by people identifying as Women and/or Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), or others traditionally underrepresented in our industries. Our program will connect them with the resources of the NESEA community and our partner organizations. The long term goal of BuildingEnergy Access is to bring more MWBE and BIPOC professionals into the high performance space and to support them once they arrive.
Generally, the NESEA Board of Directors and NESEA staff continue to work towards making our community more supportive and welcoming to further DEI work across the organization. The highlights above are a few of the major steps we’ve taken over the last year; we recognize that there is still more work to be done.
Looking forward in 2023, we plan to create more spaces for collecting the ideas and experiences of our community to help continue crafting more tangible, actionable steps in the direction of our strategic plan. In that vein, I’m pleased to announce that a group of community members will once again be organizing a Diversity Caucus at BuildingEnergy Boston
, and I will be working to organize a new Diversity Caucus at BuildingEnergy NYC to expand our reach and engage fresh perspectives. I hope you will all join me, and other board members at both!
Board Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison
Board of Directors Vice Chair