Black Lives Matter

We stand in solidarity with the Black community and with all of those who are seeking justice in the name of George Floyd, and so many others. Our hearts and thoughts are with all those in pain right now. USGBC-LA remains committed to creating a more sustainable society, with the knowledge that it is simply not possible without racial equity. 

We don’t have all the answers, but we do know we need to do better. Sustainability should be synonymous with equity. We need to stand up for more than environmental justice, but also for social justice, for racial justice, for individual justice so that every person knows that they matter, are heard and acknowledged; and that we won’t stop until it is actually true. We can’t move forward in the work we do unless this is part of every conversation.

We’ve been working to figure out how we can protect the planet from ourselves, but so much of what has been happening this year has shown us that what we really need to be protecting ourselves from is actually, ourselves. That means we need to acknowledge we each have a role to play before we can see the change we need in this world.

There will be no going back to what was before, so let’s use this moment, a powerful one amidst a global pandemic of shared experience, to create and imagine what could be. Let’s commit to asking the hard questions. How can our movement be truly more equitable? How can our team implement anti-racism policies in our organization, our events, our committees, ourselves, and our community? It has always been there and for far too long sustainability has been too white, too well off, and too insular. We have no hope against climate change if that hope is only available to those with time, money, and opportunity.

We will ask these questions, we will look at ourselves, and we will listen harder than we ever have before. We will work to be better. We have so much work to do.

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About the Author

Ben StapletonExecutive Director for USGBC-LA. A native Angeleno, Ben Stapleton is a recognized sustainability leader, who brings to this position extensive experience and connections across real estate, technology and innovation. He launched and managed the La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown Los Angeles, most recently serving as SVP, Operations & Finance for the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). The Campus has become an epicenter for sustainability in the region featuring events with prominent local, national and international leaders, while being home to a community of cutting-edge businesses and nonprofits. At LACI, Stapleton led major operational growth, program development, and partnerships to triple revenue for the non-profit. Simultaneously, he helped lead efforts that resulted in the La Kretz Innovation Campus becoming an iconic green building for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the City of Los Angeles, with multiple certifications, as well as pilot projects targeting waste, water, and energy efficiency. Stapleton has also held the positions of Managing Director of the LA Better Buildings Challenge and Vice President & Cleantech Practice Group Lead at JLL. He has served on the boards of LA Bioscience Hub and USGBC-LA. Representing competing schools in Los Angeles, Stapleton holds a MBA from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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