As Dr. Robert Bullard and I have written, it’s also not enough to diversify mainstream environmental organizations and agencies. It’s necessary for mainstream environmental organizations, agencies, and foundations to provide unrestricted operating support to community based organizations for whom racial and ethnic justice are part of their core culture.
“What are you asking on your surveys? Have you gone to Yellowstone? Have you seen a bear? Have you wrestled an elephant? You’re not asking about that jackrabbit that runs around the neighborhood. So that’s not nature as defined by the mainstream. Nature is this other thing that’s removed from our experiences.”
Of 2,057 environmental organizations analyzed in the latest study, Taylor and her team found that only 14.5 percent even report diversity-related data . . . .
Based on her decades of studying the sector, she speculates a few reasons why environmental organizations might not report. Maybe they object to doing so because they feel diversity has nothing to do with the environment, or they feel it’s no one’s business and they only share internally. Maybe they’re too embarrassed to release data that makes them look bad. Maybe they don’t remember to do it. . . .[With] four advanced degrees from Yale, and four books later, Taylor is the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the University of Michigan’s School of Environment and Sustainability. In January, she released a startling report, “Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Reporting and Transparency.” It builds on her oft-cited research for Green 2.0, an independent advocacy campaign to increase diversity among environmental groups. The big takeaway: Environmental nonprofits only seem to be trying when someone is watching.