It is the goal of the Center for Diversity and the Environment to act as a catalyst for change that reshapes the current state of environmental affairs lacks the important perspectives of minorities. This is a mindset our group has taken on since the beginning of our partnership with CDE. We understand that this is no easy task so we made sure to hold ourselves accountable to reasonable goals such as potentially reinforcing already existing CDE programs. CDE utilizes various forms of training such as their E42 program that helps groom fledging environmental leaders from minorities. CDE’s variety of programs aim to instill a dialogic approach to issues, action-based solutions, relationship building, as well as other important values. Their E42 program shapes leaders hoping to influence their communities. Our group’s proposed project would help take leaders a step further, utilizing their newly built skills to work on an ongoing project in Portland, Oregon.
The field of Environmental Studies is very polarized due to its lack of representation and inclusion of minorities. Changing this clearly takes a ton of time and a lot of resources. During the process of researching our organization we found that the many programs they hold involve the training of ethnically diverse environmental professionals and leaders. We figure a great way of helping CDE and striving towards our project goals would be to develop a symposium type of event where the newly made leaders from CDE’s training programs could interact and engage with already established environmentalists such as Sunita Narain or Professor Jim Proctor. Before this we would need to establish a way of networking ourselves with CDE representatives as well as established environmentalists that our school has connections to. Our group feels that assessing the scale of our project is key to formulating a viable project that is potentially applicable. Much of the world still clings to the racial stereotypes of antiquated generations so we would start small based in Portland and potentially expand the scope of our presented project.
After we figure out a way of effectively networking with CDE representatives and establish environmental leaders, possibly those of color and diverse backgrounds, we could begin to increase the range of people we engage and interact with eventually integrated newly made environmental professionals into seats of power within environmental movements. In summation, our group believes that our goals are definitely achievable because our school’s environmental program is well known for its environmentally friendly and innovative composition, and we have well-established connections that our group could utilize.