Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Meghann Jarchow

Second Advisor

Dr. Mandie Weinandt

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Granaas


sustainability, well-being, pillars of sustainability, social issues


The concept of sustainability combines environmental, social, and economic factors to ensure the survival and prosperity of future generations for the Earth. People most often associate only environmental issues with sustainability rather than economic issues or social equity movements. The purpose of this thesis was to determine if people associated social equity movements with sustainability. This is important because social equity movements move towards creating an overall greater social well-being of individuals which is necessary for prosperity of the future; a key concept in sustainability. To test this, I interviewed twelve individuals: three faculty with expertise in sustainability, three faculty outside of sustainability, three students with expertise in sustainability, and three students outside of sustainability. They were asked to provide a definition of sustainability, asked who can participate in sustainability activities, and then asked if they thought specific social equity movements were related to sustainability. I hypothesized that the sustainability experts, faculty, and women would associate more social equity movements with sustainability. The results showed that women, sustainability experts, and students had higher association rates of social equity movements to sustainability than the other groups.



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