Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world.
—Hélder Pessoa Câmara
Today there are over 111 million people of color living in the U.S., representing 36.3% of the nation’s population. By 2042, that number will top 50%. Compare that to the 33% of environmental institutions (and 22% of government agencies) that currently have no people of color on staff, and you start to see the glaring racial imbalance that characterizes the culture of today’s environmental movement. It is no wonder that people of color often feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in the widely homogenized white culture of mainstream environmental institutions and agencies. It is becoming increasingly imperative that we address this racial divide and discover ways to create an inclusive environment for people of color who are already involved in—or wish to engage in—this work. Many mainstream environmental institutions have begun to examine their current equity, diversity, and inclusion workplace conditions. They may be eager to embark on a diversity investigation process, they may already be engaged in some stage of diversification, or they may be looking for guidance on how to be more effective or strategic in their approach. CDE can offer direction at any phase of this continuum, helping organizations move from wherever they are now to wherever they want to be.
CDE provides a number of tools and services to facilitate an organizational change process that is both strategic and sustainable, and to support meaningful integration of equity and diversity into the organization’s strategic plan. An Equity Engagement and Strategy Process is a great place to begin if your organization and staff are ready. For organizations just embarking upon diversity work, this effectively establishes a foundation upon which future success will be built. Additional work can include tailored trainings, and later stage work can incorporate coaching and consulting as well as an Equity Audit.