Partner Spotlight: Center for Diversity and the Environment

Center for Diversity and the Environment with the CARCD team

The Center for Diversity and the Environment (CDE) is a Portland-based non-profit organization with the mission to “harness the power of racial and ethnic diversity to transform the US environmental movement by developing leaders, catalyzing change within institutions, and building alliances.” Their programs operate on the individual level, by supporting leadership to become “effective change agents in their communities”; on the organizational level with retreats, trainings, and coaching & consulting services that ensure ongoing institutional evolution; and on the network level, by coordinat[ing] a national coalition of people of color who support one another in their efforts to bridge the historical divide between the environmental community and communities of color and by convening community engagement forums.”

CARCD & the Center for Diversity in the Environment

In the summer of 2019, CARCD’s Executive Director and two RCD Directors attended several multi-day trainings hosted by CDE and funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. These trainings were an important starting point in launching the RCD network’s equity, diversity, and inclusion transition project. Then in December 2019, CARCD staff attended a retreat with CDE facilitators to begin to build a shared understanding and a common language around equity, diversity, and inclusion work.

Karen Buhr, CARCD’s Executive Director, said “we are grateful for the opportunity to learn from the Center for Diversity and the Environment. Their trainings forced us to confront some uncomfortable topics, and opened up the conversation for all CARCD leadership that CARCD and RCDs need to focus on reaching everyone in the community in order to truly meet our mission of being community-based conservation organizations in California. Though we learned a lot, this is truly the first step in a wholehearted commitment to make our work and organization more equitable, diverse, and inclusive.”