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RELEASE: 70 Leaders Across the Environmental Movement Call on Congress to Diversify Key Government Agencies

July 19, 2016

Green 2.0 Team

70 Leaders Across the Environmental Movement Call on Congress to Diversify Key Government Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green 2.0, an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diversity across mainstream environmental NGOs and foundations, today joined with members of the Green Leadership Trust – fiduciaries of America’s largest environmental non-profits – and leaders of the several major environmental non-profits in a letter to House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop and Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva, asking that the committee broaden an existing inquiry by Democrats on diversity of the National Parks Service (NPS).

“Our charge at Green 2.0 is to cultivate an environmental movement that reflects the communities it seeks to preserve and protect. We cannot charge green groups and their funders with diversifying their leadership and leave those who set and drive public policy out of the equation. Leadership in Congress must begin asking the overdue questions to gauge whether federal agencies are trying sufficiently to hire and retain leaders of color,” said Robert Raben, founder and president of Green 2.0.

“We were delighted to see the April 2016 letter from many Democratic members making clear that a lack of diversity at NPS is unsustainable. The data, however shows that all federal agencies relevant to environmental policy are in the same position as NPS. By 2044 people of color will make up a majority of the nation’s population. Given an aging workforce, the federal government stands to face literally thousands of retirements in the next few years. These vacancies are opportunities to bring new leaders into the fold who reflect the direction in which our country is moving. Failing to seize this moment ensures that people of color will be left behind generationally. The time to raise the persistent lack of diversity in government is now and we hope that Congressional committees and agencies will do that urgently,” said Whitney Tome, executive director of Green 2.0.

The letter signed by 70 environmental leaders asks that House and Senate committees move swiftly to query relevant federal agencies on demographics of the existing workforce, whether any diversity policies are presently in place, and whether measures to attract, hire, retain and promote a diverse workforce are underway and primed for evaluation. The full letter may be found here.

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