Forced Labor in Supply Chains: Taking Action

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In-Person Ticket - Student with Valid IDFREE
In-Person Ticket - General Public$10.00 USD
Zoom Ticket - General Public$5.00 USD

Event Details

The three-part series “Forced Labor in Supply Chains” explores the often-invisible affliction of human exploitation embedded within the extensive supply-chain networks that create the very materials for our construction endeavors. Such coerced labor conditions are a pervasive reality across our global landscape.

This series was born out of the pioneering work the Design for Freedom movement at Grace Farms has been doing towards eliminating forced labor in building material supply chains. It seeks to elevate the consciousness of planners and designers by prompting a critical examination of the origins of our materials and the methodologies employed in their creation, thereby equipping us with the knowledge required to make morally informed decisions when procuring resources for our projects.

In the series' third installment, "Forced Labor in Supply Chains: Action and Impacts to advance Equity", we engage with the subject matter through a multifaceted discourse, hearing about diverse approaches from practice leaders, academic research groups as well as human rights advocates. The event aims to cultivate discourse on both conceptual and pragmatic measures necessary to foster a paradigm shift toward enhanced human rights conditions in the procurement of our construction resources. Recognizing that initiating individual action often represents a challenge when combating such an intricate challenge, this event aspires to empower attendees to take that critical first step.

Pins Brown, Freelance Consultant on business and human rights; Chair, UK-based Food Network for Ethical Trade
Sara Grant, AIA, LEED AP, ALEP, Design Partner, MBB Architects
Billie Faircloth, FAIA, Co-founder and Research Director, Built Buildings Lab

Melissa Marsh, Founder and CEO, PLASTARC

About the Speakers:
Pins Brown’s working life has involved suits and muddy boots from Scotland to South Africa. She has focused on improving working conditions within businesses and their supply chains from agriculture to oil and gas, as well as addressing issues in the care economy. Recently this has included the overlap with the climate crisis on topics like migration, heat stress and livelihoods impacted by low yields. Her 25-year experience has been wide-ranging—in non-profits, businesses, and consulting, including as a trainer and facilitator. Her most recent role was as Director of Human Rights at Natura &Co cosmetics group (then owners of Natura, Avon, The Body Shop and Aesop). She's currently a freelance consultant on business and human rights, the Chair of the UK-based Food Network for Ethical Trade, alongside studying how we can rewrite our economy to be based on our ecology, and not vice versa. Brown is known for integrity, clarity of purpose and courageous leadership, transforming conversations, decisions and practice. She enjoys bringing lasting change for people and other animals, planet, societies and business, and, crucially, influencing and motivating others to do the same.

Sara Grant is an architect and planner who partners with mission-driven institutions to create equitable, healthy, and sustainable environments. As a Partner at MBB Architects, a women-owned firm known for its social impact as well as design excellence, she harnesses the power of collaboration to unlock hidden potentials in every project. Her inclusive planning and design process combines research-based expertise with community engagement to build consensus across diverse stakeholder groups. An Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP), Grant serves as Chair of the Young New Yorkers Alliance, a mentor in the GSAPP Alumni Mentorship Program, and a member of the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education and the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee.

Billie Faircloth is an architect, transdisciplinarian and educator who has transformed practice-integrated research and earned a national and international reputation for demonstrating its value, methods, and outcomes. As co-founder and research director of Built Buildings Lab, Faircloth represents the value of existing buildings in the public consciousness, global sustainability practice, and policymaking. From 2008 – 2024, Faircloth was partner and research director at the Philadelphia-based practice KieranTimberlake, where she guided the collaborative development of award-winning studies, technology, and architecture. Faircloth serves on the Board of Directors of Building Transparency, has previously served on the AIA Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE), and was chair of the committee in 2022. Faircloth will join Cornell University in 2025 as an associate professor in the Department of Architecture and a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

Melissa Marsh is an expert in Workplace Strategy and a leader in Change Management services. She has defined a career in workplace innovation by embedding the added value of real estate strategy within design, architecture and master planning projects around the world.

Working in both Europe and the US, Marsh has been on the forefront of delivering alternative workplace solutions, and has led virtual teams throughout her career. She has contributed to courses for CoreNet and Worktech, spearheaded international learning and technology initiatives, and lectured at UVA, Cornell and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Past Programs in this Series: 
December 12, 2023: Forced Labor in Supply Chains: Its Prevalence & the Design for Freedom Movement
March 11, 2024: Forced Labor in Supply Chains: Examples of a Humanely Built Environment