[Kay Eggleston] Good morning. I'm Dr. Kay Eggleston, president of Richland College, and it is my honor to welcome you this morning. On behalf of the DCCCD sustainability team and all our Richland colleagues and our sister colleges of the Dallas County Community College District, we welcome you to this 2018 DCCCD sustainability summit, the eighth annual summit. On behalf of all of our Richland College faculty, staff, and students who remain committed to Richland college's vision to be the best place we can be to teach, to learn, and to build sustainable local and world community, I am so pleased that you are all here today, and to all our participating guests from business, industry, the sustainability community, and all of our colleagues from across the DCCCD, welcome.
We appreciate you sharing in the vision to learn and build sustainable community for future generations to come. They are depending on us as the current stewards of this magnificent planet that we inhabit. Today we have the wonderful opportunity to engage together in numerous informative and instructive presentations, sessions delivered by highly respected professionals in the fields of energy, solar power, climatology, water conservation, sustainability, food sourcing, parks, fishery, animal wildlife, horticulture, and education. Certain sessions will also help us learn more effective ways to secure funding in grants to support the many important sustainability initiatives and programs that we are about.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to Trane, our generous supporting partner, and the 19 generous sponsors and exhibitors listed in the summit program. This enriching summit is made possible by their generous support, and we thank each and every one of them. My sincere appreciation goes to our own Richland College facility's services sustainability coordinators, Jerry Owen and Sonia Ford, under the leadership of facilities director Ken Dunson, and to the Richland College Green Team members, summit logistics team, college communications and marketing, information technology, Office of Student Life, and the Office of Resource Development. It does take a village to put on an event like this. We also send our sincere appreciation to our student volunteers, who are with us today from the student Green Team from Phi Theta Kappa and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Welcome, students. Members of the student Green Team dressed in green t-shirts will be positioned throughout the campus during the summit to help guide your way to the various breakout sessions and to the gym for the luncheon keynote address and the exhibitor display area. My sincere thanks to all our students for your role in helping to make this summit an enriching and exceptional experience. Please enjoy this day of inspiring keynote addresses, breakout sessions, valuable networking, and our Arbor Day planting celebration at 11:00 this morning. Thank you so much welcome to Richland College.
[Georgeann Moss] Good morning, again. My name is Georgeann Moss, and I'm the executive administrator for sustainability outreach and initiatives for Dallas County Community College District, and it is my great pleasure and joy to be emcee of this morning's event. And so before I introduce our platinum sponsor, I do want to give you some housekeeping information to hopefully make the day go more smoothly. So, when you checked in this morning, you should have received a wristband, a colored wristband that corresponds to the kind of meal you want for lunch. If you pre-registered for this event and you didn't get a wristband, be sure and check in at the registration table before you leave to go up throughout the rest of the day. The printed program has today's schedule. I hope you all got that. Again, if you didn't get one yet, just stop by the registration table on your way out, and if you're not good with maps, don't worry. We have, as Dr. Eggleston stated, we have teams of students and navigation team members in green t-shirts who can help direct you and guide you to the your next place.
Okay, so after the keynote this morning, we're going to have two breakout sessions, and so you can decide which session you want to attend. You don't necessarily have to go to the one that you pre-registered for. We use those as a count to try to figure out what size room to get. So, if you change your mind, it's alright. You can go to a different session. We're going to have shuttles running throughout the day. All of our facilities track breakout sessions are at the LeCroy Center, which is just up the road a little bit, and so there are shuttles running up and down on this side of the campus, and there are shuttles running up and down on this side of the campus, and they'll be running continuously today. So, if you find yourself like you did in college, where you have one class here and the next one is completely across campus, you'll be able to make it in time. After the first two breakout sessions, then we'll come back together for the expo and lunch and the second keynote, which is going to be in the Guadalupe Building. We're in the gym, and so you can ask student volunteers how to get there. The exhibits for our wonderful exhibitors and sponsors will be open from 11:00 to 3:00, and so be sure and visit Trane and all of our other wonderful exhibitors and let them know how much you appreciate their support. After the lunch keynote address, which will be with business…sustainability, business consultant and author Kevin Wilhelm, there's going to be three more breakout sessions, and you're not going to want to miss lunch, because it's a great lunch from Corner Bakery Café. And you may be wondering how can Richland afford to put on this fabulous event and not have to charge anybody for it? And so again, the answer to that question is our wonderful, wonderful sponsors. You've seen their names up on the screen, rotating as we've been talking today.
So, I have time to recognize our top sponsors, which our platinum sponsor, is Trane, and our gold sponsors are Enviromatic Systems, Texas Energy Engineering Services, Inc. We call them TC. That's why I'm struggling with their name. They usually go by the acronym TC, and then McLemore Building Maintenance. So, let's give them all a big hand to show our appreciation.
Thank you. And so now, to introduce our keynote speaker and to tell you just a little bit more about Trane, I would like to invite Mr. Johnny Brown, who is the Texas district vice president, to the mic.
[Johnny Brown] Thank you, Georgeann. Good morning. I'm Johnny Brown, the vice president for Trane Commercial Systems in Texas. We are very proud to be the platinum sponsor today for this year's sustainability summit. At Trane, our vision is to reduce the energy intensity of the world, and that sounds like a very grand and lofty goal, but when you really think about it, I really think that there's no other company that has a better chance of impacting that than Trane. You think about how much energy use comes from buildings. It's about 40% in the US. Well, that's more than the energy use from our cars, our vehicles in shipping and transportation. That's more than manufacturing, and when you break that down further, about 60% of that energy use comes from the air conditioning, the heating that we use to make the building comfortable. Another 20% of that comes from lighting, so about 80% of that energy use is from lighting and air conditioning and heating. And you know, really, if you think about how easy it is to manage that better, to control it better, how easy it is for us to design systems that really efficiently use that energy, that's exactly what we've been doing here at Richland over the last seven years. We've been converting their control system over to, you know, a new, more digitally controlled system, one that has intelligent services, one that provides a lot of data that helps them manage their building and their energy use much better. It's been a really exciting time over the last seven to 10 years here, even, with the amount of change that's happened on the energy side. I got some numbers this morning that really impressed me. So, here at Richland, they are running about 19.1 pounds per foot on CO2 emissions, whereas the goal, the national average, is about 24 pounds per square foot.
So, that is really an amazing accomplishment. Also they -- in 2017, they saved 1,870 tons of CO2, and so I think that is just a really amazing accomplishment. One of the things that I was impressed with when I looked at DCCCD's -- their mission, right, is to be environmental leaders, and they're doing that by really advocating for more responsible use of resources, and when I read that, I thought that lined up exactly with what Trane's mission and vision is, right. We want to be environmental leaders. About three years ago -- this is in 2015 -- we had our own climate commitment, where we committed to spend 500 million dollars over a five-year period in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from our own products. It's really an amazing thing that we did that, not because it was required. There was nobody regulating us. There was no EPA telling us to do that. We did it because it's the right thing to do, and that's one thing that I'm really excited about -- what DCCCD is doing, and also about our keynote speaker. When I got a chance to look through her bio, a lot of things in there just spoke about her passion for sustainability and energy, her involvement in the community, her involvement in industry organizations and sponsorships, her involvement with programs that they have launched around sustainability and energy down in the Rio Grande Valley area. So, Marianella Franklin is the sustainability -- chief sustainability officer for the University of Texas in Rio Grande Valley, and I'm very happy that she's here to kick this thing off and be our keynote speaker. So, please welcome Marianella.
[Marianella Franklin] Thank you, Johnny. Thank you. Thank you. I'm going to ask a big favor. I did something really wrong this morning. I wanted to be very professional and came with these wonderful shoes, and I'm going to ask you if you are okay with me taking off my shoes and presenting to you, yeah, in a comfortable way [laughter and applause]. I will be so much more comfortable doing this this way.
So, my name is Marianella Franklin and, as Johnny indicated, I'm from the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. We are five miles from the border to Mexico, so we are the most southern tip of Texas. For those of you who have not visited, you may be familiar with South Padre Island. So, we are very close to South Padre Island. I see students say, "Oh, yes." So, I am honored and privileged to be here with you today, and I want to thank DCCCD for providing me this opportunity, because I'm really just here to share a little bit about my personal and professional experiences with you to see if maybe some of these might be helpful to you and to look at sustainability with a different approach. And, you know, we're going to talk about success, because I view sustainability as a tool for success and actually as a formula for success, and I know the word formula is probably not very attractive to many of you, because you think I'm going to go down the path of mathematical, you know, lesson, which we're not going to do that. We're not going to do that, but I want to start off by asking you to do something for me. I'm going to ask the odd number rows to please stand up and for all even rows to please remain standing, so first row, third row, fifth row, all odd-number rows, if you could please stand up, and this is only going to take a minute or two. So, if you could please -- odd-number rows, please stand up.
Wonderful. Do we have them all standing now? I would like you to turn around and face the individuals behind you, and please put on a big smile and introduce yourselves. Please shake hands. Introduce yourselves.
I love this. This is such a beautiful crowd. Okay, we're starting to have conversations. This is great, but I do need to provide the presentation, so I'm going to ask everyone to sit. Now, the reason I do this is because one of the key components of really being successful and using sustainability as a tool for success is connecting, and I share this because I have a wonderful friend in the audience, and I'm going to ask her to stand. She's trying to videotape me, and no, no, this is not going to work, Maria. I want to introduce you to Dr. Maria Boccalandro, and by the time you leave today, [applause] I want you to connect with her and several other ladies I'm going to bring up right now. So, I met Maria, Dr. Boccalandro, a few years ago, and she connected me to Sonia Ford, and Sonia, thank you. I don't know if she's in the audience, but if you are, please stand, Sonia. I received the invitation to come and speak to you from Sonia, who introduced me to Georgeann Moss, who introduced Georgeann. She's over here. You met her this morning, as she did the introduction -- who introduced me to Lori De la Garza, and then I was here a few years ago and they introduced me to Steven from UNT. So, this one person that I met, Dr. Boccalandro, connected me to all these beautiful ladies and gentlemen who have now connected me to -- because of these connections, I've now met faculty and students from Venezuela, faculty and students from Colombia, faculty and students from Costa Rica and from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. It's just amazing. This one person changed my professional path in sustainability and allowed me to meet all these new people. So, before you leave today, before you leave this summit, I hope that you will intentionally try to meet at least five, if not more, individuals you've never met before, because one or two or three or maybe all of the individuals you meet are going to help you down your sustainability path.
Connecting, partnering -- very, very important, and I'm going to share some examples of some of the personal and professional successes that we are having at the university, as well as myself, on a professional level. So, if we can -- do I have the clicker? Yes? Let me see. Yay, it works. So, let's start off with the definition of sustainability and how we define sustainability. There is a very common definition from the Brundtland Commission that I believe you are all familiar with, so I'm not going to read it to you, but in the ten years that I've been practicing as a sustainability officer, I still get many question marks when I use that particular definition. Why? Because we have faculty in different disciplines. We have students with many different passions. So -- bless you. So, sustainability actually means something different to everyone. It means something different to an engineer than it does to a medical provider. Sustainability means something different, you know, to a marketing professional than it does to someone who is a mechanic, but sustainability can be embedded in each and every one of them. We are all wired differently. We all have different passions, but sustainability is actually a tool that could be used regardless of discipline, regardless of professional path. So, in trying to make this simpler and more practical, and yes, it is a much more generic definition, what I do is I deconstruct the word and I explain that it is simply the ability to sustain quality, and when I say quality of life, most individuals believe that's only on a personal basis, but it's to sustain the quality of life, of a product, of a service, of a person, of a building, of a program of a course. There is a formula behind this, and if you use it, if you use this formula, it will provide you success both on a personal and professional basis. So, yes, we're going to talk about a formula, but first I want to talk a little bit about success, because success is defined in many different ways, but my favorite TED talk -- one of my favorite TED talks is from a gentleman named Shawn, and I'm not sure If I'm pronouncing the name correctly, if it's Acker or if it's Acre. It's A-C-H-O-R, and he has this TED talk about the secret of success, and it all boils down to one thing, happiness, but not the other way around, and I want students to hear. This success comes from happiness, and it's not the other way around. You're not going to find happiness after success. Happy people are the people who become successful, and what you feed your mind, what you feed your body, what you feed your spirit is also very important to that success. So, happiness, and I'm just going to leave you with that, and we're going to continue with this formula. So, I'm sure you are all very familiar with the core concept of sustainability and how it revolves around the three systems that we live in -- the economic system, the social system, and the environmental system.
Now, when I say they revolve around them, these are completely interconnected, and if you consider yourself, you are all providers in this summit. You are all providing every day, whether you're providing to your children, whether you're, providing to your students, whether you're providing to your classmates, whether you're providing for yourself. Everyone here has to provide at some point in time, has to provide a product or a service, even at home. When you are providing knowledge, when you are providing food, when you are providing, you are a provider. So, consider, what type of quality are you providing yourself? What type of service? Where is the quality and the service and the product that you provide to yourself? Where is the quality in the product and service that you provide to others? If you take this formula which is to protect these three systems and to ask yourself the question what am I doing with this specific action I'm taking right now for myself? Am I actually looking at the quality of this action, and is it going to sustain me as a person, my finances, and the environment? Is it beneficial to all three of those areas? If the answer is yes, if there's a plus for each one of these, then you're going to find yourself with a sustainable action, a sustainable solution, a sustainable product, or a sustainable service. This is the formula, and as you start to apply it, you're going to feel the joy in what you're doing, but there is a key. You need to find your passion. You need to find out where your passion lies. Your passion can lie in one of the three, but it's connecting to the other systems and understanding how that one passion actually impacts the other two systems. I'm sure we have entrepreneurs, businesses, community members, students who are passionate about society and the injustices that are happening today to society. Well, as you start seeking ways to provide a product or a service to those particular -- to that particular system, to the social injustices of the world, you need to connect with others who can help you understand the economic impact of that particular idea you have and the environmental impact. It's not intended for you to do it by yourself. Everyone has a different passion. We all are connected in different ways. We all have expertise. We need to connect. We need to come together. We need to actually sit down and say, "Hey, let me help you with that." So, one thing I want to share is that sustainability is not about pointing the finger and saying, "Ooh, that is not sustainable, and that is certainly not sustainable." It's about reaching out and saying, "Hey, let me help you with that. You know, I have an idea. Let's work on this together," and maybe not even using the word sustainability to start off with, but through the process, allowing them to see the joy that you have in doing what you do. So, I want to talk a little bit about leadership as well, systems thinking. We've talked about the three systems and how these are interconnected, and I'm sorry. I'm going to skip this slide to go on to the next. So, it's all about the bigger picture. You know, I'm not going to read all of this for you. You can read while I speak. But it really boils down to the quality of life that we want to see for ourselves and for future generations, but that quality of life is not just life itself. It's all the products and services that we need to provide with quality. I'm sure that everyone in this room would rather purchase or would rather provide quality, something that's going to sustain for life, than to provide a product or service that's just a quick fix and that someone's going to need to take care of later. I mean how many times have we heard, you know, that pharmaceutical companies come up with a cure for something, but then a few months down the road, they're trying to eliminate that product from the system because it actually is detrimental to another organ. You know, they might fix one organ, but it destroys the other. These are individuals that are working really hard to find solutions, but they're not using this formula. They're not looking into the future. They're not looking at the bigger picture. They're not looking to sustain quality. They're just looking at the quick fix. So, we need a new type of innovator, and we need new products and services that actually provide quality, and not just on a professional basis, but at home as well. So, we need a new generation of leaders that have long-term -- that are long-term thinkers, that are more persistent, that have a vision for the future, that are more adaptable and, most of all, connected. So, this is why I had you do this -- excuse me -- this little exercise this morning, so that you could actually connect with each other, because this is the key, the most important component. We have a slogan at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley for sustainability, and it is to connect, collaborate, and contribute, and we're going to go through some of those as I move through the slides. So, I go to leadership. There's -- every one of you here, aside from being a provider, is a leader. At some point in time, somebody is listening to you, someone is watching you, or someone is reading about you. I'm sure you agree with social media now, people can do all three. They can see you, they can listen to you, or they can read about you. So, regardless of whether you're a student or you're a community member or a faculty member, you are a leader. At some point in time, someone is going to ask you, "Hold the phone. How did you just do that? Can you show me what you just did, or can you share that with me, or can you show me how to do this?" That means you're leading someone in something you've just done. So, going back to happiness, happy people are successful people, become successful. The question is: What type of leadership are you providing? Are you a happy, positive leader, or are you a negative leader? Because we do have individuals who are foolish enough to follow negative leaders. I mean why would you want to follow someone who's down the negative path? Why would you want to follow someone who is just going to take all that wonderful energy and make you a pessimist or just bring you into depression because everything revolving around these individuals is just negative? Sustainability is about positive. We want quality. The quality is in the positive, not in the negative, and so please take into consideration, you know, that we need to move forward. If you truly are passionate about quality of life, if you are truly passionate about personal and professional success -- is that we need to move forward with this formula, and we need to start applying it, even if it's just within the little things we do on a day-to-day basis within our own homes and with the product that we provide, you know, in the services we provide as entrepreneurs or as professionals. I know that there's several business people from the community here today. And so we need to start looking a little closer at those things. Business is all about supply and demand, and so the choices that we're making at home, the things that we are choosing to purchase, the things that we are choosing to extend the quality of life of at home is going to change the way the world provides in the future. We need to start making those changes ourselves first, at home and within our professions, and start looking at the things that we actually bring to our homes and to our businesses so that those products and services turn around and start producing more sustainable products and services, so it becomes competitive, supply and demand. If we are demanding more sustainable products and services, then the competitors are going to have to follow, and this is the whole thing of following the lead. When they see the success on this side and the negative, you know, companies and corporations that are not doing sustainability, start to see that demand is falling on this side, they're going to follow, and so we can do this, but we need to start this ourselves. This stool. I know that you've seen this stool before, and you've seen the three-legged stool. If one of these systems is missing, the stool falls and there is no balance, and I've been meaning to change out the word "sustainability" there at the top to "humanity," because there is a misconception that sustainability is still about taking care of just one of the systems, whether it's the environmental or the economic or the social.
Depending on where your discipline and where your passion lies, some individuals believe that that's the only system that needs to be taken care of. Again, it's a formula. We have to really take a look at the impact we have in all three systems with every choice that we make so that we can sustain humanity. I have to tell you the planet is not going anywhere, and I'm not suggesting that we're not supposed to be taking care of our planet. We have to take care of the planet, the economy, and society all at the same time. But if we were to disappear, if we do not do this for the sake of taking care of humanity, of taking care of ourselves, the planet is going to rejoice and replenish itself. It's going to be like, "Yes, finally. They're out of here. Now I can actually be what I want to be," because it's the way that we're treating ourselves that's hurting the planet. It's the way that we're working, you know, towards economic development that is hurting the economy. It's sustainable economic development that we want to see, but we, as producers and providers, need to provide those sustainability products and services for the future. So, if you apply the formula at home, you're going to find yourself very happy, very joyful with personal success. If you apply it in your profession or at work, it will be professional success. If you start to apply it in the community, if you engage and connect with the community, you're going to find yourself, you know, with community success, and if you go above and beyond, you'll find yourself having also the joy of global success. So, the relationships that you establish, the connections you establish, and the relationships you established are intended for you to create that happiness around you to feed your mind, your body, your spirit with happy thoughts, with happy readings, with happy people, because together, you can actually accomplish this. And it all revolves around the 17 goals for sustainable development, and I'm going to stay on this slide for a little bit, because I want to share with you that this has been one of the greatest tools that we are using at the university. When we talk about sustainability, you know, we've been doing this for ten years now, and we still have faculty and students who look at me with a big question mark, like, "What? What is that, you know? I've heard the word before, and is it recycling, changing out light bulbs?" And you know what? That's correct. Those are actions that we take to become sustainable, but it's not necessarily everything, and in order to simplify things and not make it so complex for them, what I do is I share with them a bookmark that we created a few years ago, that I believe you may have one. In one of these sessions, you're probably going to receive one of these bookmarks that has the 17 goals. If you do not, you can go to the website for the UN Goals for Sustainable Development, and they have posters and bookmarks and everything that you can download. But these 17 goals help our students and faculty and community members connect, and the way we connect them is we say pick the box. Pick the box. Pick the goal that is most relevant to you. Which is the one that you are most passionate about? And students, I want to ask you to take a look at these and make sure that you pick the one that is most -- that you are most passionate about, the one you want to contribute to, and align it with the professional path you are taking. There is nothing greater than going down the path of what makes you happy, because that means you're going to end up doing so much better as professionals, because you're going to go out there and actually do an amazing job doing what you love. You don't want to wake up in the morning and say, "Oh, my gosh, I have to go to work." You know, that's not good. It's not good for you. It's not good for us. It's not good for the community. It's not good for society, because you're not going to give that job justice, but if you are passionate, if you really love something, pick the box that you love. Pick the box that you really want to contribute to. You don't have to do all the others. They're actually all completely interconnected, but just pick one. Pick the one you're passionate about and tie that to your professional path. For anyone here from the community that is a business partner, I ask the same thing. Which one of these aligns with the product and service that you are providing? And take a deeper look into how you can actually provide a sustainable product and service, provide a product of quality that can help contribute to these sustainable development goals. These goals are what connect everyone to sustainability. Once we put it into this perspective, then our art majors say, "Oh, okay, I get it. I know where I fit here," and our faculty members do as well. Whether they're faculty members for math or environmental science or whether they're health, they can find the box that makes their course relevant, and for any faculty here in the room, making your course relevant to everyday life for your student engages them, excites them, tells them, "Wow, you know, I thought I was just going to take this course to get the grade so that I could, you know, pass and get on with getting a degree," but using sustainability as a tool to engage the student and make the course relevant is very important, and the way we do this is we connect with the community. Now, if you take a look at these 17 goals, I don't know about Dallas, but in the Rio Grande Valley, we have issues with all 17, even number 17, because the cities are extremely territorial and sometimes don't want to work with each other, but that's changing, because the university and the faculty and students are now connecting with this community. What we do is we look at all the nonprofit organizations within the region that provide a service for any one of these boxes, and then we take a look at the degree programs and the courses and we say which one of these -- we ask faculty, "Which one of these do you feel that your teaching, your research, and your service contributes to? And if it's more than one, please just click on the box that you can so that we can evaluate and see who we can connect you with in the community." So, as they connect with the community, they start working on service projects which we call service learning programs, and those service learning programs allow the faculty and students to provide something that those nonprofit organization need, whether it's data or whether it's research, but they're assisting, and it's a tremendous help to the community, and it's a tremendous help to our students, because our students are getting hands-on experience out in the community and the course is now relevant to them, because the course is now applied to something that's happening in their own backyard. They're actually able to use what they're learning in class and take it out into the community and work on something. So, it invigorates the classroom, it invigorates the students, and it's a win-win situation for both the community and the classroom, and it's really exciting, and now we're working with organizations. Now we're working with consultants, the consultants and the businesses around the community. When the university outsources, whether it's in transportation, in dining, in architecture, in engineering, you know, you name it -- in order for an institution to run, it has to operate, and they have all these different departments, operational departments in all those areas, and sometimes they can't do it just with the people they have, so they have to hire consultants to come in and assist with feasibility studies. And what we do is now we're connecting our staff from those departments with students and with faculty so that when the consultant, when the professionals come on campus students and faculty are also working alongside with the consultants and the students are learning how to do the things that these consultants are doing for the university. So, in turn, the students are getting experience, whether they're engineering students or science students or math students, where they're doing analysis or data collection, they are learning a skill that they didn't have before. So, when they graduate, they're so excited they go back to these companies, and some of them are getting hired by these companies. Not all, but some of them are, but they can take that skill with them as they seek a professional path, and again, a win-win situation, even for the consultant, because sometimes the fees come down because they don't have to do the data collection. The students are working with the consultants to do the data collection. The consultant is just supervising and making sure that the data is accurate. Seventeen goals for sustainable development. Very important to our future, very important to the quality of life, and what I want to do is share with you a video, and I want you to focus. It says we the people. We have so much negative rhetoric today in the world. We have so many ugly things happening in the world.
We do not need to wait for legislation. Yes, it would be a great support if the policies were in place to support sustainable development, but there's no need to wait. We the people have the power to do and bring quality of life to this planet. Can we run the video please? I want you to see this video. It's a wonderful video.
[ Music ]
>> We can be.
>> We must be.
>> The first generation to end extreme poverty.
>> The generation.
>> Most determined.
>> To fight injustice.
>> And inequalities.
>> The generation that saves the planet from climate change.
>> And this is how it will get done.
>> The global goals.
>> A 15-year plan.
>> For everyone.
>> With no one left behind.
>> [In unison] We will live in a world.
>> Where nobody.
>> Lives in extreme poverty.
>> [In unison] Where no one goes hungry.
>> Where no one.
>> Wakes in the morning.
>> Asking if there will be food today.
>> [In unison] We will live in a world where no child has to die of diseases we know how to cure.
>> And where proper healthcare.
>> Is a lifelong right for us all.
>> [In unison] We will live in a world where everyone goes to school.
>> An education gives us the knowledge.
>> And skills.
>> For a fulfilling life.
>> We will live in a world where all girls and all women have equal opportunities.
>> To thrive and be powerful and safe.
>> [In unison] We cannot succeed if half the world is held back.
>> We will live in a world.
>> Where all people can get clean water.
>> And proper toilets.
>> [In unison] Everyone, at school and at work. We will live in a world where there's sustainable energy for everyone.
>> And power for the whole planet.
>> Without destroying the planet.
>> [In unison] We will live in a world where economies prosper.
>> A new wealth.
>> Leading to different jobs.
>> And we will live in a world.
>> Where our industry.
>> Our infrastructure.
>> And our.
>> Best innovations.
>> Are not just use to make money but to make [in unison] all our lives better.
>> [In unison] Where prejudices and extremes of inequality are defeated.
>> Inside our countries.
>> And between different countries.
>> Where people live in cities and communities.
>> [In unison] That are safe, progressive, and support everyone who lives there.
>> Where we replace.
>> What we consume.
>> A planet where we put back.
>> What we take out of the earth.
>> We'll live in world that is decisively rolling back [in unison] the threat of climate change.
>> Where we restore.
>> And protect [in unison] the life in our oceans and seas. [Screaming]
>> And protect.
>> Life on land.
>> The forests.
>> The earth itself.
>> With peace between and inside countries.
>> Where all governments are open.
>> And answer to us for what they do at home and abroad.
>> And justice rules.
>> With everyone equal before the law.
>> Where all countries and we their people.
>> Work together.
>> In partnerships of all kinds [in unison] to make these global goals a reality for everyone, everywhere.
>> These are the United Nations' Global Goals.
>> For Sustainable Development.
>> [In unison] Let's get to work. Let's make it happen.
[ Music ends ]
[Marianella Franklin] This video is available to all of you on YouTube, and again, it's from the UN Goals for Sustainable Development, and they have many. They even have songs from different institutions who are now working, you know, with students and developing songs around the SDGs. Really wonderful. I'm trying to see if our theater department, along with our folkloric dancers, our mariachi, and our School of Music, can come together and do something that's culturally appealing to our region, so they're working on this. Again, this is a project within the institution, and the students are really excited about it. I don't know how much time it's going to take them, but I can't wait to see what they come up with. But moving on, what I want to bring up again is that they are speaking about the power that we have as the people. We are the force. We together can do this, and again, it goes back to just picking one of these boxes. Pick the box that you are most passionate about, apply it to you, apply it to your service and product, whether that is a service and product you provide at home or whether it's a service and product you provide in the classroom or on your business. Very important that we start looking at how to apply these along with what you're most passionate about, but I also want to ask you to connect with the community, because in order for this to happen, the community needs to see you, the community needs to understand what this is all about, and it's never going to happen if we don't get out there. I know I'm preaching to the choir. I know that everyone that's here is interested in sustainability. You're interested in quality of life, and it is very complex, because in order for us to see it, we need to spread it throughout the entire planet, but it's not going to happen if we don't connect, if we don't partner, and so that's what this is all about. To find the success, to find the joy, please connect. I have no greater joy than to meet people every day, because all I do is talk about sustainability, and someone said to me the other day, "You're an evangelist," and I'm like, "No, don't call me that." "Yes, you're evangelizing sustainability," but, you know, it made me happy. It really makes me happy to see when the lightbulb goes off and they see the simplicity of it. It is complex, but it can be simple if you choose to just pick one of these boxes. Pick one and work on that. I'm going to share with you next some of my personal -- let's see -- some of my personal efforts. I'm going to share with you some horrific stories about the Rio Grande Valley and where my passion lies. So, I've jumped around from one box to the other, from one goal to the other, but I want you to take a look at these stats. So, we have over 900 colonias in South Texas, and colonias are basically subdivisions, but they're subdivisions of the poorest of the poor, and the conditions that they live in are just horrific, and you can take a look at the images, and if you take a look, you know, look at the high school dropout rates and the lack of proficiency in English and find -- not just in English, but also in financial literacy, and what happens and the type of conditions that occur from living in these -- in this environment and the unemployment rates of those individuals. So, my passion is helping those in need, and the individuals in these places are in much need. These are not very safe places to go to. So, I partner with nonprofit organizations that actually are trying to do something to help. And so a couple years ago, what I did was partner with Proyecto Azteca, with -- Ann Cass is the director of Proyecto Azteca, and they basically provide affordable housing, and she came to me and said, "Mary, I need your help. I'm going to go out for a grant and, you know, every time I go out for money, it gets rejected or I get just a small amount, and so when we buy property to help build this affordable housing, it's a lot here, a lot there. You know, there's all these different lots throughout the valley that are abandoned, and I'm trying to purchase them, because, you know, we're a nonprofit organization and we need to make this affordable for us and for the community." So, she went out after a grant, and she wanted to buy save several acres of land and to put a whole community of affordable housing, and she had already written the grant, and I said, "What if we plug in sustainable housing?" And she's like, "Well, what is that?" So, what we did was we trained -- we put together a group of individuals, and we trained her staff, and we brought in US Green Building Council, and we provided workshops. They were eight workshops. Well, not -- it was a workshop with a series of -- or a series of workshops every Saturday. So, it was about eight Saturdays in a row, and we trained her staff, along with students that were interested, that were civil engineering and electrical engineering and some that are in an associate's degree program for architecture at one of the community colleges. So, they learned all about becoming green associates, and they learned about LEED certification. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it's a certification process for designing and building in a sustainable way, and there's a checklist for it, and so to become an accredited professional, you need to go through these training processes so that you can learn how to do that, and so we trained her staff. After the training, she turned around and she said, "Yes, I want to do this." We found a architect in Austin who was willing to work pro bono, and he designed three different model homes that were according to the LEED silver standards. There's different standards. You can do silver, gold or platinum, and there's also just the certification to say that you went through those guidelines. So, the homes were built, designed and built. She did get the award, because we plugged in that this was to be a LEED-certified community of affordable housing, and she received the funding.
Not only was the housing going to be built, but along with it, she received the funding for all the appliances to be Energy Star and for the homes to also have Wi-Fi and a computer, because again, these are low-income to no-income families. Some of them are single mothers who can't afford to actually feed all the children they have and provide internet and computers, and we wanted these families to be successful, and this community of 35 homes also is intended to have a community center where training is going to happen at the community center. Right now, the center has not been built, because the homes come first. I believe she has about 25 homes already built. There's still another ten that require individuals that qualify to have their homes built there, because they have to go through a qualification process. So, these homes have solar panels. They have water harvesting units. They have these 18-inch thick thermal insulated -- they look like Styrofoam. I want to say it's a mix of concrete and Styrofoam -- is what the block walls are made out of. So, the bills for the individuals that are living in the three-bedroom homes are running about 15 to 25 dollars a month. Now, wouldn't you like to live in a home that your energy bill is only 15 to 25 dollars a month? Some of them go beyond and are actually receiving a check now because they produce more energy than then they actually consume. They are also getting financial literacy trainings. They are also getting trainings in English as a second language. They also get training in gardening. The master gardeners who fall under Texas A&M AgriLife Extension have partnered with this nonprofit, and we have now connected the university as well, who's providing other trainings. Our clinics are now going and also providing education on health, because we have a serious issue in the Rio Grande Valley for childhood obesity and diabetes, and so it tends to happen in places like this. It's the areas that are very poor and neglected where you see most of those cases, because they are not close to real food. The closest thing to them is typically convenience stores, so they feed their children sugary drinks and Cheetos with -- I don't know what you call that cheese. What is that cheese call that they pour over it? I don't know what it's called. It's not real cheese. So, my point in all this is that it -- I can't tell you how rewarding it is to be able to connect and be able to work on projects like this, where I just spent a couple of days with the director, but then I went out there to meet the families. We partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation a couple years ago, and we were awarded. It was a competition, 10,000 dollars, and we planted -- we purchased 35 trees, and we planted a tree in each one of these homes. So, now it's a native adaptive Hong Kong orchid. I'm not sure if you're aware. It has this beautiful purple flower, and so these -- this neighborhood is now going to be lined with these flowering trees that are also pollinator trees that attract pollinators, and so that day was a beautiful day. We actually were there with students, with faculty. The families came out. We were there with city foresters. We planted a tree in each one of their homes. They received a bucket. They received a compost bag. They received a shovel and stakes that have nutrients for the tree to grow. They were taught the to-dos and don'ts, you know, of growing this tree and how to prune the tree, and so, you know, it was just amazing. I have to tell you, you know, when you think about the word happiness, what makes us more happy than making others happy? I mean if you consider, you know, your loved ones, and when you give them a gift, you want to be there front and center. Why is it that you want to see them? You want to see that facial expression. You want to see the joy that you bring to others, because it brings you joy. That's what this is about. It's about quality of life. It's about extending that joy to others. That's how you become happy. That's when you feel successful -- when you're able to accomplish something like this. You might not be able to accomplish it for the world. Do as much as you can, where you can, but start with your home and your communities. This is another one of my projects. I gave a presentation at AASHE this past month. I met Mario Bracamontes, who's the gentleman in the flowery shirt, about three years ago, and I just -- I can't explain to you. I can't express the joy of hearing this individual tell me how he wanted to bring something that he didn't know what it was called, but he wanted to do something to help his students. Now, his school is an alternative school, a DAEP school. This school, in the state of Texas, is called a school-to-prison pipeline, because this is where all the students who have behavior issues in the regular school system -- when they get kicked out one or two or three times out of the school, they end up there, and it is like a detention facility. There are gentlemen dressed in military attire and police officers, and there are students walking down the halls with ankle bracelets, and when I walked into his school, I said, "What is this? This is a school?" and he said, "Supposedly," and I'm like, "What do you mean, supposedly?" He said, "These students don't get taught. They just get discipline. They're supposed to get taught. They're supposed to come and learn. But the fact of the matter is that all that happens here is discipline," and he says, "and I want to change that, because I was one of these students many years ago." I want you to know that he was provided a second chance. He was in jail, and he came out of jail as a young adult and was provided a second chance, and he was out in the fields, and the gentleman who owned the farm that he was out in said, "Do you have a high school diploma?" He said no. He could see that he was a hard worker. He said, "Do you have a high school diploma?" "No." He says, "If you get your GED, I'm going to give you a raise." "Oh, I'm on it." He went and got his GED so he could get the raise. A few months later, he said, "You know, I think you could supervise a crew, but I need you to go to community college and actually get some training on management. Can you do that?" and he said, "Sure." He said, "I'll pay for it, but you have to be committed." He went to community college. Then he went on to University of Pan-American. That was before UTRGV, and he ended up getting a business major, a bachelor's in business. Well, I have to tell you he went all the way to Harvard and played rugby for Harvard. Now, he could have gone on after Harvard and been very successful as an entrepreneur, because he's a business major, and he said, "No, I'm going to go back to the community where I started," and now he is the principal of this school, and he has taken the seed that I planted, which is education for sustainable development, paired it with project-based learning, and his students are now graduating. That has never been heard of before. We have dismantled the school-to-prison pipeline in this school, and they --
And going back to happiness and joy, these children have nothing, and I walk in there and I give them just a little bit of praise for the projects they've done, and they're like, "Miss, I'm ready. I'll go put one up in your house. You want aquaponics? I'll go do it in your house. You want hydroponics? I got it," and I said, "Well, wait. I've got to get the material." "No, no, no, no. I could go get him from the junkyard. I got all this stuff from the junkyard." And I don't have a picture here, because I could give you a whole presentation on it, but it was hilarious when I turned the corner of one of the classrooms and there were two chickens there. I'm like, "Mario, what are these chickens doing in the school?" He's like, "Oh, my gosh." He says one of the students came and said, "Hey, they came and picked up so-and-so in front of my house, and they took him," he says, "finally," he says, "because he was the worst of the worst, and he's in jail now, but now all the chickens are roaming free, and my neighbor told me I could have as many chickens as I wanted, because she's -- the chickens are eating all her plants. So, how many chickens do you want, Mr. B?" And he said, "I can't put chickens in the school," and he said, "Frank and I can build a coop, and we can put --" And he says, "You can bring two." Well, they brought two chickens, and they named one chicken Hillary and the other one Trump [laughter]. So, Hillary and Trump have now about 180 chicks that live at the food bank, and the food bank now provides, you know, cage-free organic eggs to the community, and not only do they do that, the students have also -- the students maintain the organic garden that's behind the food bank where the community comes to get their fresh produce, and they also have organic gardens within their school, and they make their own green salsa and red salsa, which are sold at the food bank -- not at the food bank. I'm sorry. They are at the food bank, but they have a farmers market at the food bank every Thursday for the rest of the community who can actually pay for some of these items.
And all the money, all the proceed, goes back to the food bank, back to the community. So, these students are very proud, because they are taking all their knowledge and taking it back to the community. They are serving their community. They are happy. They are excited about education. They are moving forward, and I have to tell you their school has the highest — is everybody listening? They have the highest standardized testing scores in the entire region, not just their district. In the entire region. They are outperforming the private schools in our region. So, Mario is about to take this program to the entire region, all the school districts. So, we have — this was my project with him on a personal level, outside, you know, my free time with the University, but now I've connected the university. So, we have Dr. Alfonso Mercado, who's a clinical psychologist, Dr. Marika Dawkins, who's a criminal justice — a doctor in criminal justice, and we also have — gosh, I forget his name, but he is from the College of Education. He runs — oh, Dr. Marc Pena. He runs the educational leadership PhD. So, the three of them are now tracking a cohort of students and are going to share with the world, you know, all the logistics and all the data regarding this particular program. But that was just planting a seed, and that seed has taken this effect within our community, which, again, goes back to success. Last but not least, I want to share with you — you are aware of all the immigration issues that are happening right there on our border. I am a Rotarian as well, so I have partnered with Sister Norma Pimentel. If you look her up, you're going to find all kinds of wonderful information. I will be leaving here and next week sitting on a jury to select architects. She has over 50 architects from around the world who are competing for this new humanitarian respite center. Just to give you an idea, she serves at least 500 people a day, and that's not when there's a big surge coming in. This is just an average day, 500 people who come in with the most traumatic stories you would ever imagine, and to see the faces on these children, and I don't know if you can tell on the picture above — those are the shoes of all the children after they've played outside in the dirt, which they're happy to do. They take their shoes off to go in, you know, to have a meal and to wash up and get ready for their journey. These 500 families arrive, are there for just one night, and then they move on, because they have been sponsored by a family in the United States that is supposed to be taking them. So, these are the families that are allowed in. These are not — there's thousands that get deported and sent back or thousands that are in these refugee centers. You know, these are the ones that come with some form of documentation, because they actually have a sponsor for these families. Five hundred a day. Five hundred. So, we are helping her, and it's exciting. We have architects from China, from Germany, from Japan, from Argentina, from Venezuela, from all over the world. There's over 50 architects who are working towards getting this award, this design award, and they're so excited to work with, and the other — I'm not supposed to be promoting Rotary, but if you can't figure out which nonprofit organization you want to work with, Rotary has many, many, many projects, and all these projects tie to the different goals for sustainable development. I will be in Hamburg, Germany this June, where we're going to talk about Rotary changing their six goals now to the actual 17 Goals for Sustainable Development. So, you — if you are a Rotarian or you would like to become a Rotarian, there's Rotary chapters around the world. So, you can join, you know, one that's close to you.
And back to connecting. It really requires partnerships. This — it's not intended for you to find quality of life by yourself. Quality of life and success is found through these connections, through these partnerships. So, I hope that, if nothing else, you will take back with you that one tool, which is to please intentionally connect on a daily basis and establish relationships. One other thing I'd like to say is that you can use sustainability, you can use this formula as a communications tool to find success. Not everyone that you encounter is going to have your same vision, so listen. When you create a relationship, when you connect, listen to the individual in front of you, and I'm going to say something I probably shouldn't say, but I'm going to go for it. If I had Trump in front of me, I would not talk about the environment. I would not talk about the society and the issues of society. I would present him with ideas that are sustainable ideas focused on his language, which is the economy. All his interest is in money and power, so I would have a discussion with him about all the things that could bring him money and more power, but those things that I would share with him in the back are all those projects and ideas that also provide something for society and the economy. So, use sustainability, use this formula as your tool for communication. Use it. It will provide you success, and for the students, I have something to share with you, one project, and real quick. I know I'm running out of time. You know, we had a student that came to us a couple years back that was an environmental science student that had five acres of property, and an ocelot, which is an endangered species, had been sighted in that, and his passion was to save those five acres, because they were going to be rezoned for commercial property, and he did not want to lose that property. So, that was his capstone project -- was putting all the information together. He did really great. He talked about all the environmental benefits of saving this ocelot. So, but when you go to the city council and give your presentation, you're going to get maybe one-third, if you're lucky, of the council members to support you, because some of them are there because they want to help their community, they want to help the social issues, and some of them are there because they want economic development for their city. I said, "So, I need you to pool some other students, and let's work on this together," which we did, and he was able to present the economic impact and the social impact of saving these five acres, creating a little nature center where students and snowbirds could come and pay to actually watch presentations without disturbing the ocelot, because cameras were going to be out there, and he was going to be able to basically explain and train, and food trucks, the economic development, food trucks to feed all the people that were going to come to this little area, and guess what? He did it. They did not rezone the area. They allowed it to stay. Now he is looking at nonprofit organizations to create a nonprofit organization to find funding to actually create the nature center and to do everything that these three students came together and partnered to work together to provide a presentation that would work, so partnerships to fulfill the goals and to be successful. So, last but not least, again — I know I've said it many times — it is a tool for success. Present it that way, you know, when you're talking about sustainability. When you talk about success, I know that people are going to want to follow it, because everyone wants to be successful, or talk about quality. Everyone wants quality. Where is the quality in what you're providing for yourself? Where is the quality in what you're providing to others? Quality meaning those three core concepts of sustainability and how you impact them positively. Again, you know, this, I think, says it all. This is a quote from an ancient philosopher, and I love it because it speaks of our self-transformation. It speaks about us and really looking at the man in the mirror, the woman in the mirror. I know that the song is the "Man in the Mirror," and I'm aging myself, because you all know it's Michael Jackson, right, but it really makes reference to if you really want to transform all the negative, you know, in really self-reflecting and taking out all the negative in yourself. And that is my presentation. I hope you enjoyed it.