Diversity & The Climate Movement

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Description

This training is geared at reviewing the historic and cultural barriers for people of color in the environmental movement, and helping your group with strategies and tools to expand your chapter’s diversity footprint and become more inclusive through representing a more complete array of your local community’s constituency.

Breadcrumb
/topics/group-recruiting
TOC and Guide Section
 
The challenge of diversity
  • Diversifying the climate movement is an important priority for all environmental groups - people of color are currently 40% of the U.S. population and poised to become the majority by 2042.
  • While people of color have been less likely to contact their elected officials or vote, politicians are increasingly paying attention to the growing electoral power of people of color.
  • People of color have been underrepresented in the environmental movement. The most recent and comprehensive study on diversity and environmental organizations finds that people of color make up 16% of the staff and 17% of the boards of environmental organizations.
The benefits of diversity
  • When we talk about diversity, we are really talking about diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI).
    • Diversity refers to the existence of differences within a group of people.
    • Inclusion means the ability of different people to raise their perspectives authentically in a diverse group.
    • Equity refers to the fair distribution of power and benefits.
  • Diversity creates competitive advantages for environmental organizations, such as broader membership, more support for their agenda, access to grants and contributions, and a better reputation.
  • Companies that implement diversity initiatives outperform those that don’t in terms of sales, productivity, and morale.
  • Diversity is critical for the environmental movement in order to stay relevant and impactful.
Perceptions of climate change
  • People of color in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by climate change.
  • People of color bear the brunt of impacts from climate change, such as higher risk of heat deaths and asthma, home displacement from floods and storms, and the destruction of their culture and livelihoods from changes to ecosystems.
  • People of color express stronger belief in anthropogenic climate change and are more concerned than White people.
  • People of color overwhelmingly support government action on climate change.
  • Latinos say that the number one reason they do not contact their elected officials about climate change is “nobody ever asked me to.”
Barriers of history, culture, and framing
  • History
    • Many of the founders of the conservation movement were elite white men more interested in protecting wildlife than addressing social ills (such as civil rights, women’s rights, or labor rights) and their agenda was often harmful to people of color. This legacy had a lasting effect on the environmental movement.
    • Environmental organizations started becoming cognizant of their lack of diversity in the 1990s, but more progress has been made on gender than on race.
  • Culture
    • People of color experience discrimination in hiring and in the workplace, contributing to burnout. Environmental organizations often hire new employees by referrals and from the same networks, thereby replicating their existing culture in hiring decisions.
  • Framing
    • Climate change is often framed as an environmental issue with a scientific problem and technical solutions, and solutions such as “use solar panels” or “drive hybrid cars” are less relevant for those that can't immediately afford such solutions. Framing climate change as a justice issue, an extension of civil rights, could help galvanize the communities that are most affected by it.
Building a diverse and inclusive climate movement
  • Partnerships and collaboration
    • Seek to collaborate with communities of color and organizations that work with them.
    • Engage people of color in policy creation and strategic direction.
    • Incorporate an equity framework for group decisions to ensure positive social equity outcomes.
    • Empower people of color to do advocacy in their communities.
    • Provide resources to partner organizations.
  • Outreach and engagement
    • Create messaging to appeal to the concerns and perspectives of people of color.
    • Communicate perceptions of climate change by people of color.
    • Communicate DEI as a central CCL value.
    • Do outreach in communities of color.
    • Provide translations.
    • Promote outreach by people of color.
    • Facilitate conversation and networking between people of color.
    • Feature more people of color as leaders, activists, and volunteers.
  • Youth engagement
    • Partner with organizations that work with diverse youth.
    • Provide programs for diverse youth.
    • Provide mentoring and support for diverse youth.
    • Conduct outreach at secondary and higher education institutions.
    • Find opportunities to provide paid internships to diverse youth.
    • Reduce costs for diverse youth to attend events and conferences.
  • These recommendations are based on this larger diversity report written by CCL's Higher Education Coordinator Clara Fang
Additional Resources and Support
Length
Press play to start the video (39m 19s)
https://vimeo.com/album/5497589
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(From beginning)

The Challenge of Diversity
(2:06)

Benefits of Diversity
(5:29)

Perceptions of Climate Change
(8:18)

Barriers of History and Culture
(15:10)

Building A Just & Inclusive Climate Community
(24:10)

What Can I Do?
(29:35)

Final Resources & References
(36:27)

Instructor(s)

Clara Fang, Higher Education Coordinator

Downloads

Download the video or Google Slides presentation.

Audio length
Press play to start the audio (39m 19s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(From beginning)

To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(From beginning)

The Challenge of Diversity
(2:06)

Benefits of Diversity
(5:29)

Perceptions of Climate Change
(8:18)

Barriers of History and Culture
(15:10)

Building A Just & Inclusive Climate Community
(24:10)

What Can I Do?
(29:35)

Final Resources & References
(36:27)

Instructor(s)

Clara Fang

Go Deeper
Many of CCL's action teams have a focus on diversifying our groups interests and would love to hear from you!
Discussion Topic
To Print
Category
Training
Topics
Chapter Organizing
Format
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx)
Training Resources
CCL Spanish Language Resources

See all resources associated with Chapter Organizing