RCE Greater Atlanta, a regional multi-stakeholder network affiliated with the United Nations University (UNU) and designed to bring the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to local communities, is proud to announce that it received two global awards from the UNU, and an honorable mention, as part of the 2023 RCE Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

RCE Greater Atlanta has received the following awards, which celebrate projects and programs on Education for Sustainable Development within the United Nations University Global RCE Network.

Projects completed in 2023 by the RCE Greater Atlanta won two awards from the global RCE Network in the category, “Acknowledged Flagship Project,” with one award being given to the SDG Futures Fellowship, a year-long fellowship program for undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates, aimed at education about the UN SDGs, leadership, and professional development. The Fellowship is coordinated by Georgia Tech’s Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education (SCoRE) and Kennesaw State University. This year’s cohort includes 19 students from Georgia Tech and nine other universities and colleges across Greater Atlanta region. The second award was received for the Multi-Institutional Network Coordination Team, which brings together 10 higher education institutions across the Greater Atlanta Region to collaborate with government agencies, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations to advance ESD. The team is coordinated by Georgia Tech SCoRE and includes staff and student coordinators from Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Kennesaw, Morehouse School of Medicine, and University of Georgia.

An honorable mention was received in collaboration with the RCE North Texas, for the joint project of Localizing the UN SDGs through Education, Training, and Collaboration. This virtual course is aimed at creating a local/regional knowledge base to support ESD actors and promote the major goals of ESD in a resource-effective manner.

Commenting on the success of the RCE’s coordination team, Tyra Byers, Director of the Interdisciplinary Sustainability Certificate, Office of Sustainability, University of Georgia, said: “The development and implementation of the UN RCE Greater Atlanta Coordinators Network
has provided an exciting opportunity for our institutions and students to partner on education for sustainable development. Through regular communication and collaboration, coordinators and interns have leveraged individual and collective strengths to make positive impacts on their own campuses and in the greater Atlanta area. I’m grateful for this recognition of the UN RCE Greater Atlanta’s commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and for the incredible team I’ve had the opportunity to work with.”

Dr. Chavonda Mills, Dean, School of Science and Technology, Georgia Gwinnett College, had similar words of praise for the SDG Futures Fellowship. “By engaging with the SDG Fellows program, our students are actively participating in meaningful projects that contribute to sustainable solutions. This invaluable experience of transferring theory into practice equips them with the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to be leaders in sustainable development, both locally and globally. Especially significant for GGC, the most ethnically diverse college in the Southern region, the program's distinctive perspective of examining sustainability through the prisms of equity and justice aligns with our commitment to ensuring that sustainability initiatives are inclusive and have a meaningful impact on all communities.”
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Since its launch in 2018, when RCE Greater Atlanta (rcega.org) was acknowledged by the United Nations University as a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development, the RCE has received nine awards from the global RCE Network for its programs. Award-winning programs include the Environmental Justice Academy, several online educational series about the SDGs, the SDG Futures Fellowships, and a sustainable mentorship program.

RCEs worldwide support multi-stakeholder implementation of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals at the regional level through education and training. RCE Greater Atlanta is one of over 190 RCEs (Regional Centres of Expertise) worldwide acknowledged by United Nations University. Members of the RCE Greater Atlanta include a wide variety of people, including faculty, staff and students from all of the higher education institutions across the region, and leaders from the civic, nonprofit and business sectors.