Social Justice & Inclusion


UCSC actively strives to advance different cultural definitions of how to care for environmental spaces and human communities, and promote multicultural inclusion in sustainability initiatives across campus. The term "Inclusive Sustainability" was coined at UCSC in 2015, and was formally incorporated into the Campus Sustainability Plan in 2017. All classes within the Sustainability Office’s Employee Sustainability Certificate program incorporate discussions around diversity, inclusion and social justice, in addition to a class titled “Intersections Between Diversity & Environment”, exploring the history of racism within the traditional environmental movement. The People of Color Sustainability Collective, a collaborative between the UCSC Sustainability Office, Colleges 9 & 10, and the American Indian Resource Center, won a California Higher Education Sustainability Conference Best Practices award in 2017.

During the 2023 - 2024 academic year, the Sustainability Office is undertaking a Just Transition and Equity (JT&E) Analysis as part of the campus-wide Decarbonization and Electrification (D&E) efforts, more about the JT&E efforts below the "Learn More" links.   

Learn more:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement of UC Sustainability Offices and Staff

Campus Sustainability Plan - Inclusive Sustainability

People of Color Sustainability Collective

Sustainability & Social Justice Inter-Organizational Retreat

Diversity, Inclusion & Sustainability: What can YOU do as a sustainability professional?

Recommendations to Watch, Listen and Read

About our Just Transition and Equity Analysis

General purpose statement:

The University of California, Santa Cruz is committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism and fairness. In February 2023, the UCSC Decarbonization & Electrification (D&E) Task Force began considering applying a Just Transition and Equity (JT&E) lens to its technical study recommendations. As a next step, the D&E Task Force has called for the formation of a JT&E Subcommittee to conduct a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) analysis. 

For more information: If you’d like to learn more about the Just Transition and Equity work, please contact ileana Ortega Brunetti at

The Just Transition and Equity Analysis:

This analysis will help inform whether UCSC should consider an additional review and partnership with an external consulting firm on this topic as part of its ongoing D&E planning efforts. In this process, the Subcommittee will identify the impacts and opportunities of the Task Force’s recommendations for all campus community stakeholders, and noting any potential inequitable impacts and making recommendations to mitigate harm.

The JT&E Subcommittee will be co-chaired by the Sustainability Office’s Sustainability & Equity Special Projects Manager and the Director of Physical Plant Services. Membership will reflect the campus’ diverse stakeholders, including staff, students, and faculty across multiple disciplines. Ideally, the Subcommittee will consist of 7-9 members, with two co-chair positions and 5-7 representative members. Meetings will take place at regular intervals agreed to by the group with work and ongoing collaboration taking place in between scheduled meetings. Other partners include: Physical Planning, Development and Operations; Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services (CHES), Division of and Student Affairs & Success, and UCSC Dining.

The Subcommittee will conduct its analysis through inclusive and community-centered approaches, which can include survey instruments to key community members, engagement with the local Santa Cruz community, academic research, and town halls to gain input and feedback. In addition, the JT&E Subcommittee will take into account the interconnections between its work and the broader community needs and concerns, such as housing, supply chain standards, and equitable sourcing practices. 


The JT&E Subcommittee launched in Summer 2023 and is expected to deliver an initial internal evaluation in December 2023. The projected timeline, including project milestones, is as follows:




Current Work and Next Steps:

Currently (Oct-Nov) the committee is conducting focus groups with impacted stakeholders to get their input and feedback on this analysis. 

In December, an initial findings report and presentation will be delivered to campus leadership as the first step in an ongoing process to integrate equity into the decision making process. 

The Committee Members and Stakeholders: 

Core Committee 

  • Co-Chair, PPDO, Mike Hanson
  • Co-Chair, Sustainability Office, ileana Ortega Brunetti 
  • Sustainability Office, Elida Erickson
  •  PPDO Construction and Physical Plant, Tanya Guerrera 
  • College Housing and Educational Services (CHES), Jim Grove
  • UCSC Dining, Bill Prime
  • Risk and Safety Services, Stephan Edgar
  • UCSC  Student, Jude Sullenszino


  • Office of Diversity Equity Inclusion 
  • PPDO
  • Student Affairs
  • UCSC Labor Unions & Reps 
  • CHES
  • Dining
  • UCSC Faculty
  • Office of Research