Green, But Mostly White: The Lack Of Diversity In The Environmental Movement, Part 3 of 5

Guest Blog by Shilpi Chhotray, Future 500
Aug 12, 2014 5:00 PM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs


Environmentalism is a movement that impacts all classes, colors, and demographics of society, yet is rarely represented by the individuals working on the issues themselves. For instance, minority groups are typically – and disproportionately – exposed to pollution making fighting corporations leaking toxins from power plants, advocating for organic and local produce where food deserts persist, and pushing for urban park areas to make for safer and healthier communities all the more meaningful. Besides, people of color are strong supporters of environmental issues, more so than is commonly perceived. Alongside community activism, diversifying the workplace is a great, and arguably necessary place, for the environmental movement to focus when working to improve our world across the board.

Environmental justice groups, known to be the most effective in serving populations vulnerable to a changing climate and affected by pollution, are simultaneously neglected by society. Why? Because these groups represent people of color in low-income communities, communities that are often neglected. It is no surprise that they receive very little in funding in comparison to larger ENGOs. In recent years, organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council have collaborated with smaller environmental justice groups, but this is few and far between.

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Read Part 1 and Part 2

Shilpi Chhotray is Consultant, Marine and Supply Chain, Future 500