Your 2019 Awards Questions Answered

  • January 28, 2019
  • |
  • Lillie Benowitz

WHAT ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE AWARDS?

2018 Courageous Innovator Award winner, Adam Pruitt, at the podium with co-winner, Dee Dee Fuller, right.

For over 25 years, Environmental Initiative has worked across difference to create spaces where people can openly exchange ideas and build solutions to complex environmental challenges. The Environmental Initiative Awards celebrates that spirit of collaboration. We know the environmental challenges we face are linked to economic vitality and social equity. Our annual event celebrates those working to make improvements across the state to help us achieve our vision of a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society. 

This year, we will honor five collaborative projects and two individual winners. A panel of judges will select both a winner and honorable mention for each project category. Environmental Initiative staff will select the winner and honorable mention for each individual category, and highlight all winners and honorable mentions across all categories.   

WHO IS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY?

We encourage you to nominate projects and people who address environmental issues through partnerships, coalitions and relationships. Nominees demonstrate potential and achievement in the ways they approach challenges, as well as the potential impact of a collaborative approach to problem-solving. 

Be sure to check our Awards Eligibility guidelines for more information. If you would like further guidance in making a nomination or choosing a category for your nomination, please reach out to Lillie Benowitz  

2018 Critical Collaborator Award winner, Ellen Anderson.

WHAT DOES “COLLABORATION” MEAN TO ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE?

We understand that the environmental challenges we face are complex and pervasive. In order to build a healthy environment, prosperous economy and equitable society, we must build across difference to hear voices from community, industry and government perspectives in order to create strong, lasting and comprehensive solutions. Collaboration means working together to build an environmental future for all of us 

WHY IS “EQUITY” INCLUDED AS A JUDGING CRITERIA?

2018 Environmental Innovation Award winners, Dave Larsen American Indian Tour.

As an organization, we are committed to centering equity in our work. We understand the environmental challenges we face today are interconnected with economic vitality and social equity. Communities of color, rural communities, Tribal Nations and economically disadvantaged communities are often disproportionately impacted by environmental challenges. Those same communities have historically been excluded from making decisions that affect their health and wellbeing. We are committed to including these voices and focusing on advancing equitable outcomes in our environment, economy and society. As a result, we will be evaluating nominations with equity in mind, and we encourage partners to consider how equity appears in their work on environmental issues, too. We are excited to continue the conversation with you about what this means for us and how you can weave it into your work as well.

WHEN IS THE EVENT? WHAT WILL HAPPEN THERE?

Save the Date! This event will happen on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Nicollet Island Pavilion. 

This year’s event will include a networking reception with cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated dessert and a formal presentation. The evening will conclude with another short networking reception. By structuring the event this way, we aim to offer more networking time and to facilitate making connections between new and long-standing Environmental Initiative relationships. Can’t wait to see you there!