Foundations Must Promote a ‘Diversity Dividend’ at Green Groups

The 50 foundations that give the most to environmental groups shelled out more than $1 billion to green organizations in 2012. One might wonder: What exactly is the makeup of the boards and top leaders of those foundations who are making vital decisions about what organizations to support?

Last year, we learned the answer from a study conducted by Dorceta Taylor, a professor of environmental justice at the University of Michigan. Green 2.0, a new campaign dedicated to increasing racial diversity at mainstream environmental groups, released the most comprehensive report on the makeup of those foundation boards and senior staff members.

We learned that, of the organizations that responded to the survey, 87 percent of board members are white, and senior staff members are 88 percent white. The diversity of the boards of the grant recipients is even more imbalanced: On average, they are 95-percent white. Yet 40 percent of America’s population isn’t white.

Do the math. Most green foundations give diversity almost zero importance.

The “green ceiling” is hitting people of color hard and has for decades…

If “people of color” wanted to join, they would. It is ridiculous to blame the groups themselves.

  • Dana Garcia

    It’s a cultural thing. For example, Mexicans just aren’t interested in hiking because it reminds them of sneaking across the border, so they aren’t attracted to the Sierra Club, despite Clubbers efforts at outreach.

  • Alain

    “Professor of environmental justice”; that says it all. That is right up there with women studies, social justice and all the other BS. They need a major change of their own lifestyle before lecturing others on “saving” the planet.

  • Hard Little Machine

    The working poor don’t have the luxury of worrying about tree shrews, polar bears and carbon offsets. They drive shitty old cars that pollute like hell because that’s what they can afford.

  • Brett_McS

    Stressing over which recycling bin to use would, I guess, be about a 99.9% middle and upper class white thing.

    • Surele Surele

      I suffer from choice overload every Tuesday morning.

  • On Saturday at the local park’s basket ball court, I see black and white males. They come of their own free will. There are few women, ever.

    On a rainy cold winter’s afternoon run, I seldom see women. I see lots of men.

    Are these examples discrimination that needs to be “fixed”?

    “Everyone at foundations should be alarmed if our operations do not look like the country we live in.”


    Is it necessary for the American Nurses Association to make sure men make up 50% of the nursing pool?

    Is it necessary for the NBA to make sure whites are equally represented?

    America’s most vocal, racist/sexist bigots, are those who go out of their way to categorize everyone by race and gender.

    What’s the “green ceiling” on LGBTQIA? Better get on that too!

    • Frau Katze

      It’s just another leftist crackpot cause.

  • Surele Surele

    What the f..k is environmental justice. Who the hell comes up with these faculties? Can’t we just educate kids instead of transforming them?

    • Minicapt

      When you ski on forbidden terrain and get caught in an avalanche, that’s environmental justice.


      • Surele Surele

        Will try to remember tomorrow on the slopes.