LEED Architect to Speak on Hurricane Maria and Environmental Injustice
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — As Puerto Rico continues to reel in the aftermath of Hurricane
Maria, LEED-certified architect and sustainability consultant Brenda L. Martínez Quiñones
will present her perspective on the lessons and warnings that this tragedy brings
in the face of climate change.
Her talk “Puerto Rico After Maria: Tales from one of the canaries in the coal mine”
will take place on Thursday, March 22 at 4 p.m. at Beckman Auditorium in The Ames
Library (1 Ames Pl E, Bloomington). The event is free and open to the public.
As a Puerto Rican, Quiñones possesses personal insight into how this natural disaster
has impacted Puerto Rican residents, but moreover, how misguided public policies and
mismanagement of resources have exacerbated the catastrophe. Her talk will address
environmental injustice, a social phenomenon by which impoverished and marginalized
communities shoulder the adverse effects of environmental hazards more than privileged
groups, and what must be done to combat it for the good of a nation as a whole.
Quiñones is an architect certified by the Leadership for Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED), a globally-recognized program by the U.S. Green Building Council dedicated
to creating highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. She works with local
design and construction industries across the nation in order to find ways to build
more sustainable, eco-friendly buildings on a local level.
In addition, Quiñones is currently pursuing doctoral work in environmental science
at the University of Puerto Rico, and is a fellow in the university’s Integrative
Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) program. Led by the National Science
Foundation, IGERT provides United States Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the well-rounded
interdisciplinary training needed to solve complex problems facing the United States
and the world at large, with climate change – as Hurricane Maria demonstrates – currently
at the top of that list.
This event is sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program, Hispanic Studies Department and Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as part of the university’s Diversity, Dialogue and Dignity (3D) Series.
By Rachel McCarthy ’21