I am appalled to see an essay about sustainability written by five white guys (“Calling All Tigers,” July/August issue). Privileged to attend Princeton, I have felt the need often to express dismay when the picture of society does not include what I have experienced in my community and on the Princeton campus. I built a fuel cell power plant and know we have many Tigers advocating for sustainability.
My own personal quiet acts of rebellion for the last two decades have included reading my local business journal and calling out anything that was too exclusive. For example, bank advertisements that featured all white male board members. I immediately wrote on their ads —why would I ever bank at your institution if it is that exclusive? — and sent my missive to the CEOs and journalists. And you know what? The business journal and the institutions have realigned. Hasn’t Princeton?
But now I open PAW and am shocked. On such a critical issue as sustainability, I look to leaders involved in creating a better future like architects, engineers, and urban planners, not bankers, wealth managers, and telecom consultants. And I look to people of different genders, people of color, diversity of thought, of background, of strategy and leadership — these are the path forward and the leaders in the field are diverse.
As someone who graduated at the same time as these 1987/’88 alums, I am surprised to be sending them my message: Stop clinging to your friends that make you feel comfortable. The article may seem to invite a bigger conversation, but a picture tells more than a thousand words. There is nothing in the article about why these five white guys are representative of our path forward, and they say they have regular zooms, but nothing about how they are including diverse perspectives.
We all have to be more conscious about how we use our Princeton connections if we want to have a valid discourse and create a brighter future. The Andlinger Center has far more to offer creating a sustainability effort springing from all sorts of Tigers.