Sam Doss, a junior at Barnard and Divest’s spokesperson for the meeting, stated the club has recognized this flaw, especially since it was founded by four white women, and is working on outreach efforts to make the group more accessible. We believe that diversity strengthens and enriches our work and makes the environmental movement more relevant than ever. Environmental Diversity and the Value of the Unusual. 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? Workplace diversity leads to better hiring results. 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. Platzer observes the Punnett square before her, on which the examples of skin color are varying shades of white. 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? I like hiking. 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. For example, on the first day of her Fundamentals of Global Health class, the hairs on her arms were on end as her professors—two white women—discussed what she perceived as “white savior” solutions to hardships people face in small African villages. Platzer, who is Latinx and Jewish, was in awe that such a solid example of the whitewashing in her major took place about an hour before we spoke. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecology combines the ideology of social ecologyan… 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. The survey found that, on average, people of color made up 27 percent of full-time staff and 14 percent of senior staff, which is overall less racially diverse than other areas of the private sector. “Since indigenous people and people living in urban areas have been faced with environmental challenges, they’ve realized that many of the mainstream movements don’t actually stop, step back, and see what matters to them,” West says. Here are a few of the top benefits or diversity in the workplace. Priya Mishra, a junior in Columbia College majoring in sustainable development and economics, discusses her experience as a woman of color in her classes. Despite climate change being such a racialized issue, the number of people of color in environmental fields were few and far between. 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. However, in Platzer’s experiences, environmental science lectures and textbooks’ examples tend to focus on white skin. When Jenny’s not coming up with solutions to increase the effectiveness of environmental organisations, you’ll find her frolicking in the natural abundance of BC. I was met with white faces upon white faces, with very few people of color with whom I could speak. The environmental movement is woefully homogenous. Platzer’s vision goes even further than community empowerment, claiming that the entire philosophy of sustainability needs to shift as well. “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. 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. I was eager to speak with a faculty member of color—at Barnard, Columbia, or the Earth Institute—about their experience as a person of color in an environmental field. Referring to the days of Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation efforts, Roundtree reflects that this movement was established by “white people, white men in particular, to cordon off wild places for their enjoyment and exclusive enjoyment.”, Roundtree champions WE ACT’s racial diversity and leaders of color, although he can’t provide me with employment statistics. In comparison, 47.7 percent of people who were awarded biological or physical science degrees were white. In addition, Jenny brings a background in marketing, political consulting, journalism, and government. Copyright Spectator Publishing Company. Speaking to her experience of having immigrant parents and being a first-generation student, she feels the pressure and responsibility to get a job post-graduation, which led her to also study economics. This results in “no connection between an environmental paradigm and their lives.”. “I wouldn’t say it was intimidating because they were all really nice people, but you feel like you’re a token sometimes,” Benesch emphasizes as she recounts her experience interning at the Illinois Environmental Council. What Will That Mean for The Future of Labor Organizing? 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. An example of one of these traits is skin color. Diversity in the workplace boosts a company’s employer brand and presents a company as a more desirable place to work. But as Russell Kirk said, nothing is more conservative than conservation. 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. Although often used in tandem with diversity, inclusion is a concept of its own. She can converse passionately about the need for diversity in sustainability in three languages (and even when she stutters, she does it with passion). Diversity provides a bespoke environmental consultancy service enabling clients to fulfil their project aspirations whilst protecting and improving the natural environment.
2020 diversity in environmentalism