Monique Lomax ’14, Community-Based Sustainability
Monique Lomax is a Certificate student in the process of developing her capstone project, which integrates the skills and knowledge she has learned in the program to create a community-based project. Her project, titled Dane Green Living, expands on The New Green Challenge, which Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) launched in 2013 to engage members of Madison’s African American and Latino communities in a six-month program of “green living.” This program focuses on saving energy, reducing waste, conserving water, driving less and eating well. Each month, participating households learn from experts, set goals in each category, and share their experiences. The goal is to present sustainability in a way that is culturally sensitive and gives people tools to use in their personal lives. Monique’s project develops a plan for providing families who have completed the New Green Challenge a chance to extend their sustainability knowledge and practices in a way that is culturally relevant and community supported. Dane Green Living helps African-American families dig deeper into social, economic and environmental issues. Monique envisions utilizing innovative funding sources and partnerships to provide speakers, videos, tours, and other handson experiences, in a supportive environment where all voices are heard, people can feel comfortable learning and sharing, and family members can gain valuable knowledge to make a difference. She explains, “What is learned will help to create a stronger, more sustainable community for us all.” Monique was on the planning committee for the 2013 New Green Challenge. She and her family were one of the first families to complete the New Green Challenge in 2012, and her involvement was highlighted in a Madison Magazine video feature. Her experience, combined with the expertise she has gained from the Sustainability Leadership Program, has put her in a great position to keep the momentum going for sustainability within communities of color, and other communities in Madison. She currently works as a Business Development Specialist at Madison Environmental Group.