February is Black History Month. In honor of this, we're celebrating the achievements of five stellar black-run organizations.
In honor of this, we wanted to compile and celebrate the amazing achievements of five organizations that are fighting for not only a liveable planet but one that is equal and just for all people.
We know that diversity is an essential element for success in the workplace and within the environmental movement as a whole. Diversity allows for a wider set of perspectives, accounts for various lived experiences, and aids retention, engagement, innovation, and performance. However, both the Climate and Tech fields are predominately and historically dominated by white males. Despite the recent initiatives to reverse this, there’s still a significant amount of work that needs to be done to achieve full equality for marginalized communities within both of these spaces. The following organizations are making significant strides to ensure ClimateTech is a welcoming and inclusive community for all people.
Black Oak Collective:
“Your Black Environmental Home in the DMV”
About: BlackOak is a networking organization that aims to build a formal home for the many Black environmental communities in the DMV. They facilitate mutual support, collaboration, resource sharing, and mentorship for Black people pursuing critical work across a wide variety of environmental fields.
→ Create a community for Black professionals in environmental and sustainability fields
→ Increase access to environmental and sustainability careers through events and job board
→ Dismantle silos to spur collaboration and innovation
→ Foster collaboration and innovation between Black professionals and advocates
Browning the Green Space:
“Cross-sector leaders striving to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in clean energy and beyond.”
About: Browning the Green Space is a voluntary coalition of leaders and organizations, primarily in the New England region, that share the passion to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) in clean energy. Their goal is to increase the participation and leadership of Black and Brown people and of women (collectively, “underrepresented groups”) in the clean energy space and beyond (e.g., wasted food, water, agtech) in the Northeast.
→ Help companies achieve DEI goals in their hiring, recruitment, and retention
→ Provide a pipeline to employment in clean energy for underrepresented communities
→ Enable entrepreneurs in underrepresented groups to gain capital
→ Increase representation of underrepresented groups as contractors for energy efficiency
→ Bring low-cost clean energy to disadvantaged communities
→ Contractors of Color in Clean Energy: Conversations and Connections
Elemental Accelerator’s EDICT program:
“Empowering Diversity in Climate Tech”
About: Two ClimateTech executives, Devin Hampton and Jason Michaels, founded EDICT after meeting at an Elemental event and sharing a common concern for systemic racism in our world and within the ClimateTech sector. Devin, the CEO of UtilityAPI, posted his story on LinkedIn to share his experience being one of the few black leaders in ClimateTech. He shared his story in an attempt to hold this community accountable. Last year, Elemental acquired EDICT.
→ A pronouncement of values and a pledge to uphold those values
→ An internship program that provides Black, Indigenous, and people of color access to meaningful careers solving climate change
“Culture | Connection | Community | Capital”
About: A platform for Blacks in Diaspora creating systemic change in industries including clean energy, smart cities, clean transportation, infrastructure, water, circular economy, agriculture, conservation, investment, policy, environmental justice, climate tech, and beyond.
→ Climate change is urgent and Black and Brown people are disproportionately affected
→ Corporations and capital markets can make meaningful change while making a profit
→ The demographic of venture-backed companies don’t match the landscape of America
Women of Color Collective in Sustainability:
About: WOC/CS, pronounced /woke•s?s/, is a collective created to support women of color who want to connect, collaborate, identify mentorships, job opportunities and seek resources within sustainability. They use their subject matter expertise in sustainability and social innovation to empower women of color and improve the environment.
→ Community: They aim to create a community for Women of Color through events, meet-ups, professional development, panels, and more.
→ Collaboration: They manage an ongoing newsletter and medium page to cultivate ideas, share resources, and more.
→ Job Board: A simultaneous opportunity for companies to hire exceptional diverse talent and for candidates to have access to sustainability jobs.
It’s impossible to make meaningful strides for the environment if we don't account for, respect, and acknowledge all people. True advancements can only be made when we consider the livelihood of the planet and all of its inhabitants. Thank you to these monumental organizations who are doing the leg work to advance the ClimateTech community in ways that will create sustainable, just, and lasting results.
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