The culinary delight that is wild salmon: new podcast episodes, Diversity in the environmental movement: why it matters. And execs know a diverse workforce (in age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and gender) brings diverse viewpoints and perspectives to the company; these elements can help you develop great new … For an organisation to reach its objectives and strategic goals, there is need to create a positive work environment where the similarities and differences of individuals are valued. I scrolled through faculty lists on the websites for Columbia’s Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, and Sustainable Development departments, in addition to Barnard’s Environmental Science department, Columbia Engineering’s Earth and Environmental Engineering department, and the Earth Institute, searching for someone to talk to. Here are a few of the top benefits or diversity in the workplace. As one of the only black students in her year of her major, she is used to being a visible minority in the discipline. Given the increasing diversity in North America, why do you think that there is such a lack of diverse leadership and staffing at organizations that protect our health and environment? Pick one, but not both, because you can’t have both. In the past, Benesch notes, “there has been a total exclusion of people of color, especially black and indigenous people, from any discussion about environmental [issues].”. Through his work with the RAY Clean Energy Diversity Fellows, Charlie Espedido is helping to change the face of the movement and create pathways for young environmental leaders of color. 6 behaviours to implement that unlock innovation and promote equality. But as Russell Kirk said, nothing is more conservative than conservation. If the membership of Divest Barnard reflects the overall lack of racial diversity in national environmental advocacy, are environmental studies departments at Columbia and Barnard less diverse as well? She notices the importance of empowering indigenous roles, and believes Consilience can be a platform to expand the discourse surrounding sustainable development. Stop to think about that for a second. Out of the hundred people that were at the terminal, maybe 20 of us were people of colour or Indigenous. Wild salmon are crucial to our ecosystem—and pretty tasty, too. 1) Talents, skills, and experiences Individuals from diverse backgrounds can offer a selection of different talents, skills, and experiences, that may be of benefit to the organization and their work performance. Tropical or temperate forests, grasslands, hot and cold deserts, wetlands, rivers, mountains, and coral reefs are instances of ecosystem diversity. Mishra views the decision to go into environmental disciplines and movements as a matter of economic privilege. As Benesch looks forward to the future of environmental advocacy, she believes that to build an intersectional web of activists and everyday people, and spur levels of participation, work must begin at the local level. Benesch has noticed that, in the past, the journal has been economically focused, and she aims to broaden the journal’s horizons by adding more indigenous perspectives to the discussion. This results in “no connection between an environmental paradigm and their lives.”. However, in Platzer’s experiences, environmental science lectures and textbooks’ examples tend to focus on white skin. As a member of Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, which she claims is becoming more racially diverse, Platzer attributes the lack of diversity in environmental NGOs to two main reasons. Elsie Platzer, a sophomore at Columbia College majoring in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology and in creative writing, sits in her environmental biology class on a dreary Thursday afternoon. A more detailed version of the diversity wheel . Reynolds stresses that in environmental engineering, there is little focus on the social aspects behind the problems engineers work to solve, which is why she believes there are so few students of color within the discipline. Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the impact of changes to the environment on humans, animals, plants and non-living matter. (There is little evidence that diversity actually hurts any group of students, though at least one study has found that black students can suffer lower self-esteem in certain situations.) “We’re a very diverse organization ourselves, which is definitely not something that you see in environmental movements in general,” Roundtree says, explaining that the organization attempts to stray from the idea that “the environment is a playground for elites.”. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecology combines the ideology of social ecologyan… Have we been talking about climate in the wrong way. Ambria Benesch, a junior at Barnard studying environmental policy and political science, has had a more typical experience working at an environmental group that is severely lacking in diversity. “Remember that indigenous peoples have been left out of the conversation and it is only because of our resilience and connection to the land that we are now in this place.”. As of June 2020, its 12-member board of directors has one Black man, one Black woman, one Hispanic man, three white women, and six white men From the footprint of global supply chains to multinationals’ locations in communities around the world, companies are intrinsically linked to the people they employ and places in which they operate. A pathway for increasing diversity … The privilege one must possess to even focus on environmental issues is another major factor that contributes to the lack of racial diversity in these movements and disciplines. Benesch aims to help address this lack of indigenous voices in environmental movements and narratives as editor-in-chief of Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development. She blames the lack of diversity on social power balances. Unfortunately, diversity is still very much lacking on its board. Cultural Diversity in Companies . Diversity in the workplace boosts a company’s employer brand and presents a company as a more desirable place to work. It doesn’t make logical sense that conservation of our standard of living in the […], The environment-economy dichotomy dominates all climate discussions. One is the environmental movement’s advocacy of, as Platzer puts it, “Save the whales. I was met with white faces upon white faces, with very few people of color with whom I could speak. In almost every Western country, climate change has become a battle between the left and the right. Have fun leafing through our eighth issue, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, As We See It! Look at this tree, it’s so beautiful; don’t cut it down.” This massive focus on saving wildlife and conserving nature has made movements feel disconnected from the environmental injustice many people of color face. As in other sectors of the nonprofit industry, Latino underrepresentation in the boardroom is attributed primarily to a lack of Latinos in the talent pipeline. Although often used in tandem with diversity, inclusion is a concept of its own. When I asked what inspired him to become a part of the environmental movement, he responded “It’s not so much about the environment as it is about survival for many of the people back home.” For myself as an Indian-American, going into the field, I expected more diversity in the work place, especially living in multi-cultural cities like Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA. “In order to have productive environmental movements, they have to be community-focused and run by people within the community who are invested in the community,” Reynolds tells me, a lesson she learned after working at the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance one summer. Scrolling through WE ACT’s team page, I am met with a flood of visible racial diversity—diversity I could not see when I chose to explore the executive teams of two other environmental NGOs, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Sierra Club, at random. Barnard anthropology professor Paige West studies how these power dynamics have affected indigenous people on a global scale. The STaTe of DiverSiTy in environmenTal organizaTionS execuTive Summary page 7 ii. Platzer observes the Punnett square before her, on which the examples of skin color are varying shades of white. In 2020, Marriott International was No. There are so many ways diversity comes into the picture as we think about today’s businesses. Underrepresented In 2014, Dorceta Taylor, a professor of environmental justice and food systems and the director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability, published a landmark study of racial diversity in green NGOs, government agencies and foundations. Save the pandas. West is an environmental anthropologist who has worked in Papua New Guinea for the past 20 years, where she works with the indigenous people of the region to study how European, American, and Australian conservation and development projects dispossess natives of their rights and sovereignty over land, labor, and natural resources. Daniel asks Professor Taylor about her research on the history of the environmental movement, focusing on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within environmental groups, both historically and today. The culinary delight that is wild salmon: podcast episodes Wild salmon are crucial to our ecosystem—and pretty tasty, too. Graduate Workers Went on Strike Without Union Authorization. Roundtree concedes that these mainstream environmental movements, like the NGOs in the Green 2.0 report, do a lot of important work, but are not as people-centric and community-centric as WE ACT. That’s where my interest lies – let’s whip out the magnifying glass and probe this dichotomy. “Too often, I face those who would speak over indigenous peoples, who believe they can advocate for our rights better than we can,” Houska writes. Aburi sushi, anyone? A study by the University of Michigan found the percentage of staff who […], The climate conversation is stuck. In early October, Barnard Student Government Association Vice President for Policy Alicia Simba expressed this concern at a Barnard SGA meeting with Divest Barnard, which spurred a discussion about the lack of diversity in the activist group. the colour in green diversity consultancy for environmental organisations We help environmental organisations recruit and retain diverse talent, diversify their leadership, and increase the effectiveness of their programs among audiences of colour. You’re identifying groups of people who have less power and you’re shifting burdens to them because they can’t stop you.”. Ensuring everyone is heard; Creating a safe environment for staff members to propose new ideas This whitewashing expands beyond the realm of environmental sciences. She shares with me a message that director of Honor the Earth and member of the Ojibwe tribe Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska wrote for allies of indigenous environmental justice. “It’s domestic, internal colonialism. Environmental racism, West explains, is a phenomenon that people of color in urban areas and in places of the world, like Papua New Guinea, have been discussing for a long time.
2020 diversity in environmentalism