This fund will provide unrestricted support to the energy and transportation Institutes’ initiatives on Environmental Justice and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including but not limited to, the Environmental Justice Fellowship, the Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Group (TEEJAG), and other areas as needed to further the Institutes’ overall Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.
Transportation and energy policies and investments have played a significant role in creating and perpetuating the deep racial inequities that exist in America today. Due in part to historic exclusion from decision-making processes, we have created transportation and energy systems that have limited access by people of color and other marginalized groups to work, education, health, and other opportunities.
Our highways have benefitted suburban and mostly white commuters while destroying and isolating many urban Black and brown communities. Transit investments too often have prioritized rail access for higher-income communities over bus and rail access for lower-income communities. Freight facilities and traffic have been concentrated in disadvantaged communities, disrupting those communities and worsening air quality and pedestrian safety.
The buildings in these same neighborhoods are also often left behind in the clean energy transition. Many occupants of homes, offices, and schools have limited access to the type of building upgrades and equipment that use the latest energy efficient technologies, solar and backup power, and/or proper filtration and ventilation. This is particularly critical when outside air is thick with smoke or other pollutants. Furthermore, energy bills are rising, along with the need for affordable cooling and heating solutions.
ITS-Davis and EEI acknowledge that racism has influenced academic research, instruction and training, and the makeup of our research community. We recognize that our research has helped to shape America’s transportation and energy systems, as well as its inequities.
We take our responsibility to address this racism seriously and are committed to research and higher education that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and that furthers solutions towards environmental justice. This fund will support all of our efforts to affect these positive changes. Acknowledging this history, ITS-Davis, EEI and the Policy Institute are taking action to create a more accessible and equitable transportation and energy future—one that serves all people–and to instill the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the core values of our organizations, in our research, education, and outreach programs, and our workplace.
Associate Director of External Relations