Equity and Circularity – Themes from our Coalition Quarterly Meeting

  • August 6, 2020
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  • Bridget Rathsack

The Sustainable Growth Coalition gathered for our Quarterly Meeting in late July—our second virtual quarterly this year as we continue adapting to these new ways of working in 2020. It was wonderful to see so many people joining together to talk about member accomplishments, our shared work on circularity, and a very important topic – equity.  

Equity has always been a part of our vision for a thriving, circular economy at the Coalition, but after the death of George Floyd, we paused as an organization to listen, learn and explore ways we can use our privilege and influence to advance an economy that does a better job on focusing on the value of people. We can and must do more to bring Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities into our work at the Coalition. Collaboration—both within our organization and with communities, is key as we reimagine our economy and help build a better tomorrow.    

To foster more learning and conversation, we invited some leading experts to talk about these important issues, providing insights and ideas on how we can elevate equity in our work toward circularity. We were lucky to have Megan Dobratz, Principal at Cultivate Sustainability; Jane Leonard, President at Growth and Justice; and Sam Grant, of Embody Deep Democracy join us.  

The discussion fostered great conversations around equity, and building relationships was a key part of how Sam Grant emphasized working with BIPOC communities. “We don’t want a seat at the table. We want to build the table with you,” he noted. That’s an important perspective and one we will take to heart as we look at ways we can build a circular economy, and eye local impact projects like helping rebuild Lake Street and other metropolitan corridors 

I am thankful to work with leaders across industries and sectors who are elevating equity, diversity and inclusion into their work, as well as our collaborative work as a Coalition. I will continue to listen, learn and work to engage with traditionally disenfranchised voices and communities. We can build the table together, creating a resilient, circular economy that protects our natural resources, improves public health, and grows opportunities for everyone.