Movement & Community Building
Our work at the movement level seeks to knit together the widespread efforts of individuals and organizations into a powerful, collective force for change. There is a revolution underway to evolve the environmental movement from a historically homogeneous field into a diverse and inclusive multicultural coalition. We provide platforms for connection, coordination, and learning to accelerate this transformation: tools for effective, culturally competent engagement of communities of color; facilitation of meaningful and equitable dialogue; fostering of critical connections and relationship building; and engagement of diverse stakeholders.
Environmental Professionals of Color
CDE coordinates the national Environmental Professionals of Color Network (EPOC), a growing community of leaders of color across the U.S. at work on a vast array of critical environmental issues, from habitat conservation to environmental justice to upstream public health. The mission of the network is to connect, engage, and support Indigenous, Black and People of Color who are working in the environmental movement to ensure that the groundswell of activity across the nation does not happen in isolated pockets, but contributes to a comprehensive and strategic path forward. EPOC members are the change agents who envision a diverse environmental movement where they and their peers can thrive. This network provides both formal and informal opportunities to dialogue, organize, strategize, inspire, and support one another, and to develop leadership skills critical to this work. Chapters are active in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Community Roundtable Convenings
Our organizational roots lie in fostering community dialogue among individuals with differing backgrounds and perspectives. At key points in our history, we’ve brought together the environmental community and communities of color to engage in open discussions about the underlying dilemmas that perpetuate the racial and ethnic divide in the environmental movement. We approach these forums with the same care as in our trainings to create a safe space for meaningful dialogue and building trust. Our goal is to deepen a sense of shared humanity and compassion, while working to identify action-oriented solutions that are inclusive and responsive to community needs.
Our director, Queta Gonzaléz, gives keynote talks that speak to the diversity challenge at the heart of the environmental movement, the opportunity we have to reimagine and rebuild the movement, and how a transformed environmental movement will benefit us all in multiple ways.
“[What was most impactful was] going through the journey of building trust, listening and speaking with a diverse group of people from around the country about the incredibly personal and emotional topic of race. Then, walking away feeling like I had a giant support group to move forward with on diversity & equity work.”