Divided Who, Who are we?
When learning about the different “who’s” of Environmental Studies we took a more personal approach by first learning about our own identities. Our class began by taking two surveys and unsurprisingly, our peers had very similar results. We started with the Hidden Tribes quiz which was very politically oriented. The majority of our class was Progressive Activists, as well as, Traditional Liberalists. The other quiz we took was the Global Warming’s Six America’s , where all of us were rated Alarmed. We weren’t surprised to hear these results, but it drove an interesting conversation. We attend Lewis & Clark College where we are surrounded by students and professors with similar beliefs, even the greater area of Portland would likely get the same placements. Due to this, it is easy to get lost in our perspective and forget about the others. Our entire approach to engagement requires actively seeking out perspectives different than our own.
Representing More Voices
Who are the most important Who in our partnership?
It is difficult to choose who is the most important who, especially because there are so many perspectives that are deeply entwined in the environmental movement. As outlined in our partnership post about The Center for Diversity and the Environment, they serve the public, individual leaders, and larger institutions through their work. From their perspective, we think they would find all voices important, but for different reasons.
Beginning with the public, these interactions are important for sharing CDE’s approach and also gaining feedback. They write about their public forums where they can receive feedback. CDE aims to utilize these public forums as a starting point for engaging in produtive environmental conversation as well as sharing their vision and message with the public.
Next, they have many programs that develop leaders for the environmental movement. We find these to be the most important who. Through programs such as Environmental Professionals of Color, CDE is shaping young adults to bring a more equitable approach and perspective to environmental issues. By starting with a small group, who then go on to serve in their own way, they reach an exponentially greater amount of people. These leaders are sharing their lessons such as active learning and action-based solutions which only furthers our understanding of the topic being discussed.
The organizations CDE collaborates with are also important to their method. The individuals who go through their workshops understand the seriousness of racial prejudice and how it is counterproductive towards creating a more inclusive society which accordingly is counter productive towards combating environmental problems. The passion minorities have for equal rights and opportunities combined with minorities concern for the environement makes their inclusion even more of an asset to environmental affairs. People who participate in the programs provided by CDE (see link above) have the drive and passion to continue the CDE’s work in their own environment. However, institutions often have deep-rooted issues and require change. Because they are taking the active step to address their issues, the CDE would find them an important who.