Desiree Williams-Rajee, the equity specialist for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will be honored as a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity.
This Friday, she will be celebrated at a ceremony at the White House. The event will also honor nine other climate equity champions including Oakland leader Vien Truong will advocates building a green economy that merges workforce development with sustainable technology.
The White House Champion of Change issued this bio for Williams-Rajee:
Desiree is the Equity Specialist for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. As the Equity Specialist, she provides technical assistance to shape the City’s urban planning and sustainability programs, policies, and services with an equity lens.
Desiree led an effort to authentically engage organizations that serve communities of color and low-income populations through a formal learning partnership.
Together, staff and community members built mutual capacity and actively collaborated to create a climate plan that meaningfully reduces carbon emissions, prepares for climate impacts, and delivers more equitable outcomes for Portland’s under-served and under-represented communities.
Her work has inspired other cities across the country and in Canada to incorporate similar equity considerations into their climate action planning efforts. The final product reflected a groundbreaking process that catalyzed the agency to rethink climate policy and public involvement and reignited a grassroots climate and environmental justice movement within Portland’s communities of color.
Desiree was also a founding board member of the Center for Diversity and the Environment and a member of the inaugural cohort of the Young Climate Leaders Network.
For more information, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/champions