Environment and Diversity Project

Overview

This is a four-year collaborative initiative designed to help the Ontario environmental NGO community consider, develop and implement strategies to better reflect and engage under-represented communities.

Our initial focus is on ethno-cultural and Aboriginal diversity.

Goals

  1. Train, support and inspire ENGOs interested in diversifying their audience;
  2. Place young professionals into each of the partner ENGOs to work with under represented communities and help them focus on reaching new audiences; and
  3. Create networks by facilitating links between numerous NGO diversity resources and the ENGO community.

Why we need diversity

Recent interviews with ethno-cultural groups found that there is a desire to participate in environmental programs, that they are very concerned about the environment and quality of life, and there is a knowledge base and a different kind of environmental supporter that environmental NGOs (ENGOs) just aren’t tapping into.

However, most ENGOs today have very little diversity and don’t reflect or authentically engage the communities they serve. This disconnect is most apparent in Ontario where over half of Canada’s visible minorities reside and where 1 in 5 of the country’s Aboriginal peoples live.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

 

The Accessibility Project
(Earth Day Canada 2009)

 

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

 

The Diversity Initiative
(Clean Air Foundation2009)

 

 

If ENGOs want to make a difference, they need to start responding to the nuances, needs and wants of the communities they want to engage in their work. Many organizations are genuinely interested in becoming more diverse and inclusive – they just don’t know how to go about it.

The Environment & Diversity Project strategically addresses this challenge by providing customized, ongoing coaching, training and resources to help ENGOs set realistic diversity goals and embark on an organizational change process that includes embracing diversity at the board, staff and volunteer levels as well as through accessible communications and programming.

The project brings a diversity of voices to the forefront, helping to bridge the gap in understanding between ENGOs and cultural groups and promotes a two-way dialogue where learning between ENGOs and cultural groups is mutually beneficial.

 

For more information, please contact:

Paul Bubelis, Executive Director,

416-324-2792 x1

With funding support from:

Permanent link to this article: http://sustainabilitynetwork.ca/environment-and-diversity-project/