In 2008, USGBC adopted a guiding principle to "foster social equity" by respecting all communities and cultures and becoming a fully inclusive movement that embraces opportunities to broaden and expand our reach through partnerships and initiatives.
To further this goal, USGBC’s scholarship to Greenbuild was launched, to make the world’s largest green building event more accessible and diverse.
Making an investment in people
At USGBC, we believe that everyone deserves access to the benefits, knowledge and resources offered through green buildings and sustainable communities. Through the Greenbuild experience, people who are working to improve the lives of vulnerable populations can harness the power of the green industry.
Since the first cohort, the Greenbuild scholarship has awarded around $1 million to hundreds of people. These scholarships have included registration, meals and access to resources like USGBC’s online education portal. Two-thirds of those people received full travel and lodging for the conference.
Starting with 50 scholarships in 2008, USGBC now offers the annual opportunity for up to 100 people—who would otherwise not be able to attend due to financial or other barriers—to join the green building community and learn, find inspiration and grow their network at the event.
Expanding access: By the numbers
Here's a quick breakdown of how USGBC has brought Greenbuild within reach of more green professionals:
- 708 scholarships have been offered since 2008.
- $1 million of benefits have been granted.
- The average age of recipients is 34 years old.
- 58% are female, 43% are male and 1% identify with another gender.
- The average household income of recipients is $38,426, and average individual income is $15,214.
- 63% of recipients identify as an ethnicity other than “Non-Hispanic White, European or Euro-American.”
We know that the most successful green projects have diverse stakeholders, all of whom bring unique perspectives, knowledge and skills. Through this scholarship, we bring new people into the fold of our community. The funding creates opportunities for inspiration, dialogue and action among people who may not have previously attended Greenbuild.
Scholarship recipients are diverse in their socioeconomic, racial, cultural and political backgrounds. They represent allied organizations working in environmental justice, affordable housing, social service, faith-based missions, veterans affairs, community and economic development and more.
Want examples? Here is a list of some of our past scholarship recipients and the wide variety of professional roles they play in the sustainability movement.
Who comes to Greenbuild?
- Affordable housing and community development professional Collin Tateishi
- Barbara Wilson, a community organizer and minister with the Presbytery of Chicago, who joined the 2015 cohort and returned as a speaker in 2018
- Detroit-based environmental justice advocate Aaron Handelsman
- YouthBuild USA graduates Brandon Menjares, Terry Green II and Erica Moore
- Michael Sweeny, facility manager for the Diocese of Joliet, Indiana
- ACE Mentor Program recipients Siriane Lawless and Magdiel Aguilar
- Emerging professionals Jennifer Dreisbach, Sam Snodgrass, Katelyn Mueller, Dhruti Patel, Carlos Rodriguez and Jason Boal
- Rising student leaders Stephanie Choi, Clayton Moses Audi and Zach Bradby
- International Women in Green Monika Sobon, Ninette Burac, Sally Hassan, France Marie Seculles, Daniela Orellana, Veronika Kozlova, Giovanna Araujo, Hager Abdelwahid and Sundas Moien Rasool
- Felicia Buck, who went on to intern with USGBC in Alabama
- Danny McGee, who went back to lead greening efforts at WELL House through USGBC’s Advance Campaign
As we head to Atlanta for Greenbuild 2019, we are honored to open applications for this year’s scholarship program. We seek applicants who share our vision and want to partner with USGBC to advance green buildings and sustainable communities in their local regions.