Environmental and social justice champions like us can’t pretend that our feelings about America’s conservation history aren’t complicated. How can we appreciate a movement that created places of refuge for both humans and wildlife when that same movement tried to erase the existence of Indigenous Peoples from those very places?
Unfortunately, modern day conservation efforts haven’t fully removed this stain on its history; environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) continue to be white-dominant spaces, perpetuating—albeit more subtly—the stigma of the past.
A groundbreaking 2014 report by Green 2.0, an independent non-profit organization that aims to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the environmental sphere, showed that only one in eight NGO staff were people of color. More alarmingly, only one in 20 board members were of color.[…]
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