October 25, 2022 — Beyond Benign announced a new Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Initiative, designed to provide green chemistry educational support for faculty and students at minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Being built and executed in collaboration with MSIs, the initiative is intended to ensure the next generation of world-class chemists and scientific leaders are reflective of the diversity of the global community and prepared to address sustainability through chemistry.
“It is critical that MSI leadership and expertise is included in the growing green chemistry education community. The inclusion and involvement of institutions that serve students from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities into our Green Chemistry Commitment program is central in ensuring the talent pool of sustainable scientists is diverse and equipped with a diversity of perspectives and approaches that will solve global and local challenges.” – says Dr. Amy Cannon, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Beyond Benign.
The key objectives of this initiative include: partnering with MSI chemistry and science departments, through funding opportunities, professional development and leadership opportunities, to evolve chemistry teaching and practice at their institutions to include green chemistry and sustainable science; building inclusive, diverse community spaces for MSI and BIPOC faculty to collaborate, learn, and share about green chemistry; and engaging and supporting green chemistry student leaders.
The MSI initiative is a critical component of the Beyond Benign Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) 25×25 program, which seeks to ensure that 25 percent of graduating chemists in the U.S. have a background in green chemistry by 2025. The Commitment program offers higher education institutions a flexible model to expand green chemistry education through their science departments. Through signing the GCC, higher education institutions become part of a broad network advocating for green chemistry education, and gain access to professional development opportunities, funding opportunities, mentorship, peer-to-peer support, and much more.
Through this initiative, Beyond Benign will conduct outreach and discussions with faculty members across a variety of MSIs to better understand the unique needs and challenges they face in incorporating green chemistry into their classrooms, labs, and departments. By bringing their leadership and expertise to the table, MSI faculty will help shape adaptable models to scale green chemistry educational programming for higher education students across the nation. Beyond Benign intends to support MSI faculty in their green chemistry work with resources, peer networks, and funding and professional development opportunities.
About Beyond Benign:
Beyond Benign, a 501(c)3 nonprofit envisions a world where the chemical building blocks of products used every day are healthy and safe for humans and the environment. Beyond Benign’s mission is to foster a green chemistry community that empowers educators to transform chemistry education for a sustainable future. Beyond Benign is working to equip educators from K-20 with the ability to teach chemistry and STEM through a lens of sustainability grounded in the 12 principles of green chemistry. By providing educators with tools, training and a peer support network, educators are equipped to train the next generation of scientists and citizens with the skills and knowledge to create and choose products that are safe for human health and the environment.
Co-founded in 2007 by Dr. John Warner, the co-founder of the field of green chemistry, and Dr. Amy Cannon, who holds the world’s first Ph.D. in Green Chemistry, Beyond Benign has an extensive history of service. Over the past 15 year, Beyond Benign has trained over 6,500 K-12 teachers in sustainable science and green chemistry, designed over 200 open-access lessons, reached over 35,000 youth and community members through outreach, & partnered with 103 universities to transform chemistry education. Together we can catalyze the development of green technological innovations that result in safer products and processes in support of a sustainable, healthy society.
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Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships