The Powerful Women Behind Pittsburgh’s Sustainability Movement

Pittsburgh’s transformation is being led by a powerful network of women, femme, and non-binary bosses.

Large parts of the city are being reinvented thanks to a group of boundary pushers. Green Building Alliance invites you to celebrate those that have had an outsize impact, but a voice less heard.  Through lectures, panel discussions, and table discussions, we’ll explore the vital role women+ play in Pittsburgh’s transformation toward environmental sustainability and continue to grow a community of Women+ in Green.

Jane Abernethy will headline Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Women+ in Green with a talk about how she is leading the revolution toward sustainable manufacturing through her work as Humanscale’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). An industrial designer by trade, Jane spent over a decade working and leading design teams through the development of new products prior to her role as CSO. She has helped Humanscale aim toward having a net positive impact and being an overall benefit to the world.   

Jane will be joined by local artist and creator, Atiya Jones. Atiya’s work serves as a reflection of human migration, and more specificallygentrification. Having personally witnessed the socio-economic/demographic shift of neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, Atiya questions how populations reconnect, rebuild, and heal their communities. By creating art, she creates value. As a woman of color, this is an act of defiance, empowerment and visibility.  

Nina Barbuto will MC the night and talk about her work in founding Assemble, a community space for arts + technologyOn her own, Nina works in a variety of media including architecture, film, sound, and installation, in addition to serving as an adjunct professor at CMU.  

A Women+ in Green Breakfast the following morning will celebrate and further build a culture of courage within the field of sustainability. Jane and Celeste Smith of The Pittsburgh Foundation will give keynote addresses before panel and table discussions.  

Celeste joined The Pittsburgh Foundation in January of 2018 as program officer for Arts and Culture. She previously served as CEO of 1Hood Media, a collective of artists using hip hop to advocate for oppressed people around the world. Celeste has served on multiple boards and committees including the Transformative Arts Process Advisory Board at The Heinz Endowments and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Equity in Arts Funding Research Committee.   

Panelists at the breakfast will continue the conversation through a candid discussion of the issues facing women+ in the sustainability field. Panelists include:  

Chris Cieslak is currently the Project Director at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Chris has devoted herself to the sustainable development of cultural and entertainment institutions such as PNC Park and the Pittsburgh Penguins Arena (LEED Gold). Most recently, she has worked on expanding the Carnegie Science Center (LEED Gold) and has transformed the historic Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny into Museum Lab, a project of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  

Rebecca L. Lucore is head of Sustainability and CSR for Covestro LLC’s America’s region, responsible for devising new models that apply the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) to its social programs, philanthropy, community relations and sustainability initiatives.  

Lindsay Powell currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Staff to Mayor Peduto and works largely on issues of equity and inclusion. In 2014, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Pantai Remis, Malaysia to teach English classes within some of the local secondary schools. There, she ran a program for girls interested in environmental justice received national recognition through the Malaysian Department of Education.  

Camila Rivera Tinsley is at the helm of the Parks Conservancy’s growing environmental education programming, as well as the new Frick Environmental Center. Back in 2002, she moved to the Philadelphia area from her native Long Island and saw the ad for a teaching position in one of the local neighborhood newspapers. Camila believes Pittsburgh’s parks are truly a uniting force for the city, and she is happy to bring her energy to furthering that mission. 

We are also excited that Dr. Gretchen Givens Generett will help participants of the breakfast prepare for meaningful table discussions. Dr. Generett is an associate professor at Duquesne University’s School of Education and Director of the University Council for Educational Administration Center for Educational Leadership and Social Justice. Dr. Generett’s work focuses on educational leadership and cultural diversity in school systems.

 Join this powerful group of movers and shakers at the Inspire Speakers Series on Thursday June 6th, and the Women + In Green Breakfast on Friday June 7th. 

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