Thursday, July 31, 2014

Green Shame

I have harped for years about mainstream and regional environmental groups being un-diversified in their staffing and Board makeups.  They are for the most part, lily white.  I have personally recruited many Hispanics to work for and serve on such boards.  They have been great workers and policy makers.  But, it is a drop in the bucket and most organizations just don't seem to give a damn.  Now  there is an official study about how bad it really is in the otherwise altruistic green groups.  A new study out of the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment has uncovered the scandal both in NGOs and the governments environmental agencies.  This is a startling report that all green organizations must pay attention to.  And soon.

From a political standpoint it makes no sense to not change and diversify.  If it doesn't happen then the race to salvage our environment can not be won because there will be too few activists representing all segments of our populations.


New Mexican said...

The graph is not unusual, I bet those numbers/percentages are common in most industries/companies. There are several reasons for this, education, or lack there of is one and institutional racism is another. I bet that in the environmental groups it is mostly the latter. They do not see some of their actions/policies as racist.

Michelle Meaders said...

Jim, you'll be glad to know about a new group in New Mexico that addresses this very issue. We went to the campaign kickoff today for Juntos: Our Health, Our Future.

"Juntos is a new program of Conservation Voters New Mexico Ed Fund and we couldn't be more excited. A long time in the works, CVNMEF has been pushing to create a Latino community organizing program within its organization that will work with Latino leaders, community members, and allied organizations to uplift Latino voices and the environmental justice issues faced by our community."

Read about it here:

Bubba Muntzer said...

I would think a more diverse environmental movement would be taken more seriously, too. It might be too easy to categorize the current one and with that, write it off. I have even joked, unfairly I suppose, that when you go to a wilderness area all you see in the parking lot are Volvos.

Whatever the case there has been virtually no progress on the global warming front. Perhaps some new ideas and fresh blood would change things. And just in terms of political power I think you need Hispanics on your side now if you want to be legitimate.

I mean no offense to Volvo owners, by the way. They are very good cars and people of all kinds drive them. My old friend, Dennis, for example, the ex Marine who sleeps with loaded guns by his bed, has one that he drives fast all over town. He keeps the cover off the dash board so he can get at the wiring at red lights, but that has more to do with the stereo system than the car itself, I think.