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National Environmental Education Foundation

March 29, 2021

Green 2.0 Team

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is a non-partisan non-advocacy organization working to make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans.

“At NEEF, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) is at the core of our mission and how we approach our work. Making the environment accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans is only possible if we incorporate a variety of perspectives from our team, partners, and the public to make our work effective. We are on a lifelong journey to better understand, acknowledge, and incorporate the tenets of DE&I into our environmental education programs and initiatives.”

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been a part of NEEF’s fabric for many years. Hear how NEEF continues to build on this foundation, and learn what DE&I means to the organization.

As the nation’s leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, NEEF creates opportunities for people with varied perspectives and identities, to experience and learn about the environment in ways that improve their lives and the health of the planet.

– Meri-Margaret Deoudes, President and CEO, NEEF

…to better care for the environment, we need everyone’s help. By shifting the focus of environmental stewardship from a predominantly affluent white lens, to respect and include people from all walks of life, we can make a positive impact that inspires future generations and fulfills our commitment to all Americans.

– Janay’ Turner, Senior Director Human Resources & Diversity, NEEF

What DE&I means to NEEF

  • Seeking opportunities to ensure diversity in their staff, board, and partners
  • Adhering to fair, equitable, and transparent processes and policies
  • Upholding a learning culture that embraces and celebrates uniqueness and diversity of thought and experiences
  • Holding themselves accountable when it comes to embodying its values and creating a culture of inclusion.

During the period of public protest in the summer of 2020, our staff came together to condemn the acts of systemic racism that claimed the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Americans of color. We decided to channel our grief into a plan for action; to use our platform to lift the voices of underrepresented communities. To start, we plan on doing more listening and understanding.

– Nick Bradford, Program Director of Research & Innovation, NEEF

Listening & Understanding:
How NEEF is using their platform to lift voices

  • Hosting listening sessions with our audiences and partners to determine what’s needed in their communities
  • Conducting our annual DEI and culture surveys to chart our progress on maintaining an inclusive and supportive work culture
  • Ensuring equity in our grantmaking processes by establishing baselines for communities engaged in and supported by our grant funds and initiatives.

Initiatives & Programs


NEEF continues to support traditionally disengaged and excluded communities by sharpening the focus of their initiatives and programs. This includes:

  • Highlighting voices of communities of color in their programs and communications
  • Providing funding for grantees to develop community projects that engage diverse populations

At NEEF, we recognize the magnitude of the task ahead of us. We must be deliberate in our journey to remove barriers and promote inclusivity and environmental stewardship to fulfill our goal of making a positive impact on people and the planet.

– Meri-Margaret Deoudes, President and CEO, NEEF

To learn more about NEEF and its mission, visit and follow on Facebook @NEEFusa, Twitter @NEEFusa, or on Instagram @neefusa_org.

For more on NEEF’s commitment to DE&I, visit at