Eco-Equity Challenge

eco-equity hero
Sponsored by Siemens Industry, Inc., Building Technologies Division

Think Sustainability. Think Justice.  Make Eco-Equity.

The Office of Sustainability and the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service are providing an opportunity to support GW students in their social entrepreneurial efforts to address environmental and social justice issues in Washington, D.C. The grant comes as part of the ongoing collaboration between The George Washington University and Siemens Industry, Inc., Building Technologies Division, and is part of their joint commitment to environmental and social sustainability. 

Read more about the Challenge:

Challenge Launch in GWToday.
Challenge Winners in GWToday.
Challenge Winners in The Hatchet.

Eco-Equity Winners with Siemens Representative and GW Staff

Details for 2015-16 will be announced in the coming months.

Questions for the 2014-15 competition cycle:

Who is eligible?

GW undergraduate and graduate students. Projects may be individual or team submissions. Teams can include up to 5 students, at least half of whom must be enrolled for the 2015-2016 academic year. 

What will the project entail?

GW students are invited to propose a project in collaboration with a partner that enhances the local community. The project must have both environmental AND social equity impact, and be responsive to the assets and needs of the community. Environmental impact can include directly addressing a local environmental problem or improving local environmental quality. Social impact can address income disparities or health inequities in the local area, involve increased inclusion and participation of local residents in improving their neighborhood, and other direct benefits.

What support is available?

A total of $15,000 is available for one or more winning student projects. Students are required to work with a GW faculty or staff mentor as a resource, and are not prohibited from receiving additional grants for their projects. 

Where will the project be located?

Projects must have a positive impact within an under-served or low-income neighborhood in or around Washington, D.C. Projects can build on past or ongoing work with a community partner, or a new relationship can be established. Projects on the GW campus will be considered. On-campus projects should demonstrate a local impact beyond campus. All projects must raise awareness within the GW community about environmental/climate justice.

What are the final deliverables?

Project deliverables will include a written report and publicly available video or live presentation that outlines the project, your experience with it, and its outcomes. Deliverables also include the project itself and a plan to sustain the project beyond the life of your funding.

What is the project timeline? 

The application deadline is March 17th, 2015, and winners will be announced by the end of April. The project will be executed over the course of the following academic year (2015-2016).

How do I receive guidance on developing a project proposal?

Interested students are encouraged to obtain assistance with their ideas and applications by appointment with Naamal De Silva (  

How do I apply? 

Access the application here, and schedule a conversation with Naamal to receive guidance and feedback on developing your proposal. 

Resources to get inspired

Here are a few videos that talk about environmental justice. The projects discussed are generally at a medium to large scale; you can gain clarity on what environmental justice means by watching them. Can you think of a way to make a smaller, manageable difference by involving a community organization or neighborhood here in the District? Green Mapping for Eco-Justice and Environmental Justice in Action