Last night at CDE's Annual Holiday Party, I met with many incredible people who are including equity, diversity, and inclusion in their efforts- people leading organizational change processes, others creating a park and jobs in a community of color, and others including diversity and equity in food policy, wildlife conservation, pollution, education, health issues, and watershed protection. The experience was humbling and amazing- humbling because of the amount of people CDE has touched over the years and the influence we have had in their work. The experience was amazing because all of these individuals and the actions they are implementing, whether big or small, are adding to momentum that cannot be stopped.
Change is happening.
For many of these agents of change, our touch point has been through our transformational leadership development programs. Over 230 program alumni continue to create change, even years after their experience, and their work becomes increasingly impactful over time as they continue to grow and gain experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
Below is one story of our impact.
Investing in CDE is investing in a diverse, equitable, and successful environmental movement, now and forever.
"I sit at a table with three other women. Two of us are speaking Spanish, two are trying to say Adelante Agricultura like it's a tongue twister.
Adelante Mujeres, a nonprofit working to educate and empower low-income Latina women and families, wants to build curriculum for their students that links sustainable farming practices with t
|Monica Smiley, Executive Director, Tualatin Riverkeepers|
he conservation of Gale's Creek. My organization, Tualatin Riverkeepers, wants to protect the waters of Gale's Creek for steelhead an
d cutthroat trout.
Our organizations can be classified differently- one human services, the other environmental. Both are integral to a healthy community. The four of us are meeting to create a program (Adelante Agricultura) together that meets our shared values.
This meeting represents a great shift in the relationship between our two organizations and also for the environmental movement. This shift is possible because of the work of the Center for Diversity & the Environment.
In 2011, I participated in the Center for Diversity & the Environment's Environment 2042 Leadership Development Program, which has been one of the most important and critical professional experiences of my life. Through this program I learned how to establish meaningful partnerships with communities of color to create a shared vision of our community.
My experience with the Center for Diversity & the Environment has changed me; it has changed how I view and approach my life and work; and it has changed my organization.
I am forever grateful for the Center for Diversity & the Environment. They are doing crucial work that is re-defining and re-shaping the environmental movement- changing one life at a time."
~ Monica Smiley, Executive Director, Tualatin Riverkeepers