Press Release: Leading environmental funders join diversity data gathering initiative, Tom Steyer applauds Green 2.0

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LEADING ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDERS JOIN LANDMARK DIVERSITY DATA GATHERING INITIATIVE, INCREASING CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY

Bullitt Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and Rockefeller Brothers Fund to share diversity data on GuideStar Exchange by April, Green 2.0 announces

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Five of the nation’s top environmental funders have formally pledged to submit or have already shared their diversity data, it was announced at Green 2.0’s “Breaking the Green Ceiling” Forum on March 4th.  The Bullitt Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and Rockefeller Brothers Fund have agreed to submit their diversity data to their GuideStar profiles by the April deadline in order to establish a baseline. The list of foundations and mainstream environmental organizations that have pledged to submit data by April, or have already submitted data, is below. Across all sectors, GuideStar and D5 announced that over 800 organizations have already submitted diversity data.

“We advocate accelerating efforts to diversify the mainstream environmental movement because the current state of diversity in the leadership of the mainstream environmental sector is not where it needs to be. Submitting data to GuideStar allows us to establish an important baseline to measure diversity efforts,” said Robert Raben, President and Founder of Green 2.0.

Green 2.0 has partnered with GuideStar and the D5 Coalition to increase transparency on racial and ethnic diversity in the mainstream environmental movement, as part of a comprehensive strategy. This follows the recent release of the “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Mainstream NGOs, Foundations & Government Agencies” report commissioned by Green 2.0 and authored by professor Dorceta Taylor. The report found that although people of color now account for more than a third of the U.S. population, they have on average not broken the 12%-16% “green ceiling” in mainstream environmental organizations, the foundations that support them, and government agencies. Funders of the report were the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Arcus Foundation, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice.

At the event, the packed auditorium of over 200 attendees heard from diverse leaders from a range of sectors and backgrounds. In addition, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen– representing two mainstream environmental organizations who were early supporters of Green 2.0– discussed thier respective organization’s efforts to implement diversity initiatives. All endorsed the call for transparent diversity data. Their statements are below:

Tom Steyer, Investor, Philanthropist and Advanced Energy Advocate, noted, “Diverse leadership is critical to the success of any organization, and I applaud Green 2.0’s efforts to facilitate an open and honest dialogue on this important issue among green organizations. Climate change affects everyone and together we must leverage a diverse, inclusive coalition to take urgent action and build the advanced energy future our children deserve.”

“Diversifying the environmental movement is our central challenge and opportunity. Diverse leadership within the movement is crucial to ongoing success. Efforts like Green 2.0 and the collection of diversity data are essential to holding organizations and government accountable,” commented Senior Advisor to California Governor Jerry Brown, Clifford Rechtschaffen.

“By removing the green ceiling and welcoming people of color into leadership roles within the mainstream environmental funders and the organizations they support, we will be better equipped to build a healthier future, especially for the most vulnerable both here and abroad,” said Danielle Deane, Executive Director of Green 2.0.

Hank Williams, CEO of Platform and a tech entrepreneur who was featured on CNN’s Black in America, highlighted the common need across all sectors to share diversity data. “If tech can be transparent about diversity data, the green movement can too. While there are some talent pipeline challenges, they do not explain the dearth of leaders of color, making a clear understanding of the data a critical first step,” he said.

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Diego Border Office Director Tomás Torres weighed in by noting: “Commitment to diversity must come from the highest levels of an organization. Anything less is lip service.  Diversifying the staff at foundations, non-profits, and in government will lead to better decisions and smarter engagement. All should heed Green 2.0’s needed initiative to track diversity data.”

“Earthjustice continues to support diversity and we are looking forward to working with Green 2.0, GuideStar and other NGOs to gather information and develop real solutions to the under-representation of people of color in our organization and the environmental movement writ large,” said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen.

Vice President of Talent Management and Chief Diversity Officer Laura Butler of PG&E, an energy company that has won diversity awards noted that “organizations have better outcomes and continuous improvement when you have a diverse group of people at the table. PG&E works hard to facilitate a culture of inclusion where our employees are able to do their very best every day. We hire and train a workforce, and build a supply chain, that reflects the diversity of our customers in order to better meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

“The Sierra Club proudly supports the Green 2.0 report and we look forward to participating in this next phase of collaboration with GuideStar. We are committed to taking a hard look at what still needs to be done within our own organization and instituting policies and practices to ensure that the environmental movement includes everyone who cares about clean air and water,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

Malik Yusef, Five Time Grammy Award-Winning Artist, Activist and Executive Producer of the Climate Album H.O.M.E. (Heal Our Mother Earth), noted, “If we don’t turn up together, we are going to burn up together. Green 2.0’s push to address diversity challenges in the environmental movement is a critical part to empowering all communities to be heard and get justice in the form of clean and healthy neighborhoods.”

“It’s moments like this that inspire us to not give up and to keep going,” commented President of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Peggy Saika on the packed, diverse audience and Green 2.0’s announcement of environmental funders and green groups that had pledged to share diversity data. Ms. Saika was the founding executive director of the environmental justice organization Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN).

Environmental funders that have submitted or pledged to submit diversity data by April 2015, include :

Bullitt FoundationHewlett FoundationKresge Foundation

 

Meyer Memorial TrustRockefeller Brothers Fund 

 

The almost 60 environmental nonprofits that have submitted or pledged to submit diversity data by April 2015 include :

“Green Group” MembersClean Water ActionDefenders of Wildlife

Earthjustice

Environmental Defense Fund

Greenpeace USA

Green For All

League of Conservation Voters

National Audubon Society

National Parks Conservation Association

Natural Resources Defense Council

Population Connection

Sierra Club

The Nature Conservancy

The Trust for Public Land

The Wilderness Society

Union of Concerned Scientists, Inc.

U.S. Climate Action Network

World Resources Institute

 

Additional Environmental Organizations

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation

Alliance for the Great Lakes

American River Parkway Foundation Incorporated

BikeNet

Blackstone Parks Conservancy

Blue Hills Trail Association Inc.

Cache Creek Conservancy

.

 

Additional Environmental Organizations (cont.)Camp Ocean PinesCharlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc.

Citizen Power Inc.

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Flying Deer Nature Center Inc.

Indian Creek Nature Center

Jan’s Mission, IncManchaug Pond Foundation Inc.

Maricopa Trail And Park Foundation

Minnesota Land Trust

Mississippi River Fund

Nearby Nature

New Haven Land Trust

Orenda Wildlife Land Trust Inc.

Piedmont Wildlife Center

Protection and Education Re Animals Culture and the Environment Inc.

Resource Media

River Network

San Diego Habitat Conservancy

Society of Environmental Journalists

Sourland Conservancy

Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium Inc.

Southwest Research and Information Center

Stroud Water Research Center Inc.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Trinity Concepts Inc.

Urban Interface

Wastewater Education

 

 

Statements of support from leading foundations and NGOs in support of this landmark diversity data transparency initiative are here: http://www.diversegreen.org/talking-about-data.

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About Green 2.0 (@diversegreen):

Green 2.0 is dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversityacross mainstream environmental NGOs, foundations and government agenciesthrough increased data transparency, accountability and resources.

About New AmericaMedia (@NewAmericaMedia):

New America Media is the country’s firstand largest national collaboration and advocate of 3,000 ethnic newsorganizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to homecountries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media outlets, the fastestgrowing sector of American journalism.

About GuideStar(@GuideStarUSA):

GuideStar is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that connects people andorganizations with information on the programs, finances, and impact of morethan 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar, CFC CharitableOrganization #75786, serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofitsector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, governmentofficials, academic researchers, and the media.

About the D5 Coalition (@D5Coalition):

D5 is a five-year coalition to advance philanthropy’s diversity, equity, and inclusion. D5 consists of agrowing collaboration of foundations large and small, individual donors,regional and national associations, and organizations that focus on diversecommunities.

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