Description of Individual or organization

For more than 50 years the DCCCD has helped identify and deliver solutions to the real-life challenges faced by individuals, employers and the community. One of those challenges is building a healthy and sustainable future for Dallas County and its citizens. The DCCCD Sustainability Summit was initiated in 2011 to provide sustainability education and outreach to DCCCD students, employees and our community. Launched on a shoestring budget, relying on local pro bono keynote speakers and presenters and using creative “guerilla” marketing strategies, the free, one-day conference was a success that started a yearly tradition. Since then the Summit has been hosted by five colleges, has reached more than 2,000 attendees and has attracted more 80-plus corporate sponsorships.

Leadership (Nominee demonstrates leadership through example, knowledge, attitude)

The Sustainability Summit was a bold, creative idea by a small team of like-minded individuals. With each iteration of the Summit, lessons have been learned and new ideas developed to grow audience and financial support. The Summit has been able to invite well-respected experts, including the first pro bono keynote speakers, such as Anna Clark, Trammell S. Crow, Joel Salatin, Toby Hemenway, Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Dr. Mark Nelson and Mustafa Santiago Ali to represent the broad spectrum issues and challenges facing the sustainability movement locally and globally.

Environmental Impact (Nominee demonstrates a positive impact on the local environment via policy change, product offering, significant volunteer contribution or other achievement):

Specific environmental outcomes generated by the DCCCD Sustainability Summit are impossible to judge. However, has the Summit over time developed fertile ground, planted seeds and nurtured ideas to support local environmental actions, policies and awareness?  Absolutely! On average, when questioned, more than 96 percent of attendees say they will recommend the event to a friend. The Sustainability Summit is changing hearts and minds.

Community Impact (Nominee demonstrates commitment to DFW green community through involvement with causes, business ventures or organizations)

The Summit was a great idea launched at the right time. At our colleges and in our community, interest in sustainability was growing. The level of community awareness and educational impact of the Summit and the DCCCD is undeniable. Since 2011, all seven colleges have sustainability reps; five are full-time coordinators. “Green” curriculum is discussed on all campuses. Cedar Valley College has won two national sustainability awards! Additionally, the Summit connected with other rising Dallas sustainability initiatives such as Earth Day Texas, GreenDallas and GreenSource DFW to lend support, share resources and further develop the public awareness of healthy lifestyles, clean energy, sustainable business models and environmental action. Then as now, the Summit represents the DCCCD values of affordable, accessible learning experiences that support a vibrant community now and in the future.

Other reasons for your nomination

The DCCCD Sustainability Summit is powered by the DCCCD Sustainability Team, a small working group with diverse talents and experiences committed to raising awareness of sustainability issues throughout our organization and in our community. The DCCCD Sustainability Summit purposefully includes our college employees and students, and our broad community – for it will take all of us working together to create the sustainable future we desire.