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St. Louis Regional Higher Education Sustainability Consortium
Special Event: Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives into Strategic Planning

Thursday, June 24, 9-10:30 a.m.

Location: Zoom


The St. Louis Higher Education Sustainability Consortium is hosting a workshop to begin the conversation around incorporating Indigenous perspectives into strategic planning for universities and colleges. Our speakers include Erika Bailey-Johnson from Bemidji State University and Devon Fernandes from Humber College. Both have worked to incorporate the voices of Indigenous people and other cultural backgrounds into the process of strategic planning. Join them in a conversation on the process of meaningfully including multiple perspectives and voices into strategic planning. They will discuss ways they have worked to create a common vision of sustainability, include multiple cultural backgrounds, and authentically connect with all stakeholders in the university community. Come with your perspectives and questions to this lively conversation!

Erika Bailey-Johnson

Erika Bailey-JohnsonErika Bailey-Johnson started in her current role as the first Sustainability Director at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, in 2008. She was also appointed the Coordinator of the People and the Environment academic program in 2016. She works in the Ganawendakamigaawigamig (Office of Earth-Caretaking or Sustainability Office). She completed her BA in Biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 1998 and her Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from BSU in 2006. Her background is in science teaching, and Erika and her husband taught for two years in Mexico and three years in Kuwait before returning home to Northern Minnesota. In 2014, Erika was named one of the top 40 under 40 business professionals in the region by Prairie Business Magazine, and in 2015 as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in the Midwest working to accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy economy by Midwest Energy News. She speaks at regional and national conferences on BSU’s unique sustainability model which includes a wellness component and an emphasis on integrating Indigenous voices. She is a founding member of the City of Bemidji Sustainability Committee. In 2018, Erika became the Director of the Niizhoo-gwayakochigewin project to integrate an Indigenous lens into campus sustainability work and academic programs and the Co-PI of Endazhi-manidoowaadak to work on race relations in her community. Her first book project was recently published and is a bilingual Ojibwe/English children’s book to connect children to the Ojibwe language and Mother Earth. Erika is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Devon Fernandes

Devon FernandesDevon Fernandes (he/him) is Sustainability Manager at Humber College in Toronto where he works to start and grow sustainability programs related to the waste we produce, the food we eat, the products Humber buys, and others. Devon also sits on the Humber’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force and advocates for intersectional sustainability as a consideration throughout the institution. Prior to Humber, Devon Co-Founded the Kitchener-Waterloo Library of Things – a space where community members borrow infrequently used items, such as tools and camping equipment, that also provides opportunities for individuals who face barriers to employment to earn a living wage while working in the library. Devon has a Master’s in Community Psychology and was recognized for his work as one of Canada’s Top 30 under 30 Sustainability Leaders according to Corporate Knights.


STL Higher Education Sustainability Consortium logo The mission of the St. Louis Regional Higher Education Sustainability Consortium (STL-HESC) is "to connect the strengths, resources, and knowledge of the St. Louis area universities and colleges, to advance collective sustainability initiatives that cultivate innovation, eliminate non-productive competition, and create a network which is more than the sum of its parts." (Charter, May 2014)

The Consortium is run by campus sustainability champions at higher ed institutions throughout the St. Louis area with support from a second tier of agencies, businesses and nonprofits. Big plans these days for STL-HESC include forging stronger connections with "Tier II" agencies and businesses and partnering more closely with the St Louis Regional Chamber, as well as continuing initiatives with the online course directories, green living guide and other competitions.

STL-HESC holds quarterly General Assembly meetings and Steering Committee meetings, and bi-monthly Coffee Talks. Quarterly meetings have been decided upon for this school year based on current projects and initiatives with the intent of staying relevant and supporting the work already being done on our local campuses, so come join us at one—chances are, you'll find we've been talking about and tackling some of the same sustainability issues you're working on at your school!

Stay connected with the Consortium with the Campus Sustainability Newsletter. Published quarterly, this newsletter updates campuses on higher education sustainability topics around the region. The newsletter updates campuses on options to improve campus recycling programs, composting in dining services, green purchasing policies and more! 
Get up to date with this quarter's newsletter.

Highlights  include: 

  • STL-HESC Spring Coffee Talk Information
  • SIUE Energy Symposium
  • Job Opportunities
  • And much more!
General Assembly Meetings

The Consortium hosts quarterly meetings which serve as an opportunity to gather with fellow sustainability champions on campuses across the region. Past topics of discussion have included Consortium engagement with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, networking with the Illinois Green Economy Network, green building and purchasing, and regional participation in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly Recyclemania).

Participating representatives are highly advised to consider inviting other colleagues to carpool and tag along to these meetings; the specific topics are chosen with the intent of encouraging participation from across the various disciplines and sectors of school structures.

Sustainability Workshop Notes/Recordings

Spring 2020: Climate Action Planning

Fall 2020: Green Cleaning in Universities

Spring 2021: Midwest Recycling Center (MRC) E-Waste Tour


QUESTIONS? Contact Maggie McCoy at

Coffee Talks

Every semester, campus representatives get together for an informal Coffee Talk series to share ideas and experiences about a specific campus related topic. Past topics have included energy, curriculum, freshman orientation and move-out, etc. If you'd like to find out about the next event and or have an idea for a possible topic, please email Maggie McCoy at

Member Institutions

Harris-Stowe State University

3026 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

Lewis and Clark Community College

5800 Godfrey Rd, Godfrey, IL 62035

Lindenwood University

209 S Kingshighway St, St Charles, MO 63301

Maryville University

650 Maryville University Dr, St. Louis, MO 63141

Missouri University of Science and Technology

1201 N State St, Rolla, MO 65409

Principia College

1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028


St. Louis Community College


Saint Louis University

1 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103


  • Installed 9 solar arrays in 2015, capable of producing energy to power 17.4 homes

  • Reached a 32% waste diversion rate in 2016

  • Implemented a pre-consumer composting program in the 2015-2016 academic year, which diverted 90 tons of food waste.

  • Achieved a STARS Silver rating through AASHE

Become involved by joining the Green Billikens Group today: email

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

1 Hairpin Dr, Edwardsville, IL 62025


Southwestern Illinois College


University of Missouri- Saint Louis


Washington University in Saint Louis


Webster University

470 E Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119


  • In 2016, Webster University launched a summer lunch and learn series: Collaboration in Our Community.

  • 25 students and 8 faculty and staff convened during the 22nd Webster Works Worldwide to restore the campus’s green landmark, the Natural Area.

  • Students volunteers improved campus recycling and compost efforts in 2016 - resulting in an average of 13 tons of recycling diverted each month.

  • In fall 2016, Webster University launched their first ever sustainability peer educator program: the Gorloks Going Green (G3) Educators.

Check more about our projects and initiatives at webster. edu/sustainability.


STL-HESC is proud to announce its acceptance as an AASHE affiliate.