A Minority Environmental Leadership Development Initiative (MELDI) publication dedicated to highlighting the careers of 80 environmental professionals of color shows that people of color have developed exemplary careers in a wide range of environmental professions. The booklet paints a vivid picture of minorities who have had a life-long interest and love for the environment. The people profiled had their environmental awakenings in many different ways and at different times in their lives. They have also arrived at their current positions by a variety of means. This booklet makes it clear that questions about minority competence and interest in the environmental field are fueled by myths and stereotypes that have little basis in reality. MELDI hopes that this booklet not only highlight the careers of environmental professionals of color but also that the stories it contains serve to provide inspiration and guidance to young people considering careers in the environmental field.
Julian Agyeman, Professor & Chair, Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning Department, Tufts University
Agyeman's areas of expertise and current research interests are in four broad areas: the nexus between the concepts of environmental justice and sustainability and, specifically, the possibility of a "just sustainability"; the potential of the concept of "spacial justice" to contribute to "just sustainability"; the potential in emerging discourses around food justice/sovereignty to contribute to discourses around "just sustainability"; and the extent, complexity and pervasiveness of "rural racism" in Britain, its linkages to wider discourses of belonging, "becoming", continuity and change in racialised spaces and ultimately to discourses of nationhood.
Anderson's research focuses in environmental systems analysis, decision analysis, and watershed management.
www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/view/id/51 (inspirational TED presentation)
Carter is a visionary voice in environmental justice and city planning who views urban renewal through an environmental lens. The South Bronx native draws a direct connection between ecological, economic and social degradation. Hence her motto, "Green the ghetto."
Carolyn Finney, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley
www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2007/11/28_finney.shtml (Article entitled Black, White, and Shades of Green)
Author of Black Faces, White Spaces:African-Americans in the Great Outdoors, Finney has focused much of her research on gender, race, history, and environmental issues.
www.sierrasummit2005.org/interviews/ganttwright_text.asp (An interview, entitled Breaking Down Walls)
Gantt-Wright has worked on diversity issues in the environmental movement over the past two decades. She provides consulting, training, and facilitation services to organizations who seek skills and tools necessary to diversify their programs, memberships, constituents, workforces, boards and advocates.
Jones is an advocate for social justice and shared green prosperity. His vision includes ensuring that people from low-income communities and communities of color have access to "green-collar" jobs.
www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200409/20040906.html# (Interview with Tavis Smiley)
Jordan is one of the first African-Americans to chair a national conservation organization.
Park is a consultant to nonprofits, companies, foundations, and educational institutions and aims to make diversity and inclusion foundational assets of environmental and social change leaders and organizations.
Jerome Ringo was one of the first African-Americans to chair a national conservation organization, National Wildlife Federation.
Nina S. Roberts, Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, San Francisco State University
Dr. Roberts has a myriad of experiences in the field and is a well known scholar relating to outdoor recreation and cultural connections. In particular, her work revolves around engaging people of color and urban youth in parks and public lands as well as women/girls outdoors. She is the Director of the Pacific Leadership Institute at SF State University (www.pliprograms.org)
Charles F. Sams, Executive Director, Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation & President and CEO, Indian Country Conservancy
Throughout his career, Sams, who is Cocopah, Cayuse, and Sioux, has sought to restore, protect, and conserve natural resources in manners that balance ecological, cultural, and socio-economic needs.
One of three Lead Scientists at The Nature Conservancy, Sanjayan's current work focuses on the relationship between poverty alleviation and conservation around the world and conservation in Africa.
Sethi co-hosts and writes The Green environmental programming on Sundance Channel, anchors the channel’s business interstitials EcoBiz, and is a commentator and former story consultant for the original series Big Ideas for a Small Planet, the 2007 winner of the Environmental Media Award for Best Documentary.
Robert G. Stanton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior
A lifelong conservationist and an experienced public administrator, Stanton was the first African-American to be appointed as the Director of the National Park Service.
Dorceta Taylor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment &
Program Director, Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative (MELDI)
Taylor has worked on diversity issues in the environmental field for the past two decades. Her research interests include social movements, environmental justice, leisure and natural resource use, poverty and urban issues, and race, gender and ethnic relations.
Wolley has devoted most of his career to resource conservation initiatives. He now works with the City of Portland to increase the number of women, minority and small business consultants that do business with the City.
In this video, Wong discusses the challenges and importance of increasing diversity in the conservation community.