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UNC Institute for the Environment takes actions to advance racial equity

July 3, 2020 hands of different colors

UNC Institute for the Environment Director Mike Piehler shared a statement with faculty, staff, and students outlining the actions the Institute is taking to become a racial learning organization.

“At IE we know that systemic racism has and does pervade both our society and the fields in which we work,” Piehler said. “Becoming a racial learning organization means that as an Institute, we are committed to actively learning about and acting to undo barriers to racial equity in our operations and in our scholarship.”

A comprehensive review of every part of the Institute’s operations is underway to identify opportunities and act to increase equity.

The Institute has formed a standing equity and inclusion committee. Piehler will serve on the committee, but it will be led by members of the Institute’s faculty, staff, students, and advisers.

A funded equity internship has been created for students of color to be immersed in environmental science, research, engagement, and education at the Institute.

“This is just the beginning,” Piehler said. “We look forward to sharing additional details as they develop.”

Piehler welcomes discussion and feedback on the Institute’s actions. Please reach out to him with your thoughts and ideas on this critical topic.