Congratulations to Desiree Williams-Rajee for White House Recognition

Portland's Desiree Williams-Rajee spoke July 15, 2016 during a meeting of Champions of Change at a White House program in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of The White House. 

We couldn’t be prouder of Desiree Williams-Rajee (Class 36)! Desiree was one of 10 individuals recognized from across the country as White House Champions of Change for Climate Equity.

Desiree is the Equity Specialist for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Desiree led an effort to authentically engage organizations in a new improved Climate Action Plan that meaningfully reduces carbon emissions, prepares for climate impacts, and delivers more equitable outcomes for Portland’s under-served and under-represented communities. 

Desiree helped Portland see that as we change how we produce and consume, we have the opportunity to ensure that this is done collaboratively so that communities of color and low-income communities are co-creators. We can also ensure that we create equitable avenues for wealth building. As we reduce the pollution caused by extraction, we can create safe, living wage jobs in recycling and reuse. As we reduce deforestation, we can increase access for recreation in our natural areas. As we redefine what it means to live a good and rich life, we can ensure that people who have traditionally had the least access to the American Dream will get to enjoy health and happiness. This inclusive process will result in more complex rich solutions that better meet the needs of a diverse population. 

We so appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that Desiree has dedicated to this work and super proud that she has been recognized to this level. She has earned it!