THE Environment & Sustainable Development (ESD)

The National Federation of Business & Professional Women's Clubs is mindful of the effect that we have on our environment and natural resources, as well as how climate change disproportionally affects women and girls. To us, that includes how we perform as a steward of the environment, the decisions we make as an organization, and how we manage our relationships with members, communities and partners.

For this reason, the NFBPWC organization has a focus on:

  • Raising awareness about the interdependencies between the environment and our health and wellbeing, especially in the context of climate change
  • Empowering our members and their communities with the knowledge and tools to address environmental degradation and climate change
  • Helping more women take seats at the decision-making table where environmental and developmental decisions that affect our communities are made
  • Supporting the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

A disproportionate impact on women and girls

Women and girls around the globe are challenged to have access, use and control of natural resources, as well as the right to a clean, safe and healthy environment. Our committee also works to identify and support gender responsive approaches in addressing barriers to sustainable development.

    Meet the NFBPWC ESD Committee Leading These Efforts

    • Hyon Rah (Committee Chair) is a Washington DC-based sustainability and resilience planner active in real estate, renewable energy, and hotel/resort development sectors. In addition to her consulting practice, she teaches courses on sustainability and climate resilience that she developed at two DC-area universities.
    • Daneene Monroe Rusnak is a Registered Nurse and a life/supplemental health insurance expert based in Cleveland, OH. As the VP of Advocacy for NFBPWC, she serves as the bridge to other related organizations / initiatives and brings valuable health-related perspectives, while promoting the “little” things we can do in our daily lives to help make a positive impact on our environment.

    • Laurie Dameron is a musician and an activist who promotes zero waste and conservation through a multimedia environmental presentation, Space Earth: What Can I Do? She was the Founding Chair of NFBPWC's Environmental Committee (now the ESD Committee) and currently serves as Chair of BPW/Colorado's Environment & Sustainable Development Committee.
    • Marikay Shellman owns and manages a 40-acre organic ranch on which she raises beef cattle, grows apples, and keeps bees in Durango, CO. As a member of Xerces Society, she promotes the preservation of pollinators and developing carbon sequestration solutions through healthy soils. Her ranch is within La Plata Open Space’s conservation easements (meaning it cannot be developed in perpetuity) and contains seven ponds dedicated to Colorado Parks & Wildlife as wetlands. Marikay is also an accomplished artist and a children's book author.
    • Sue Oser is a TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) -certified teacher and an editor who pioneered teaching online long before it became the new normal. As a native of the Detroit Metro Area and an involved member of her community on environmental and equity issues, she has had close encounters with environmental challenges and their impact on people's livelihoods.


    Upcoming ESD Events

    • Events coming soon!



    Equal Participation of Women and Men in Power and Decision-Making Roles

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