Equity is an approach that ensures everyone access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers exist, and that we don’t all start from the same place. Equity is a process that begins by acknowledging this unequal starting place and continues to correct and address the imbalance.
Diversity is the presence of difference within a given setting. You can have, for example, a diversity of species within an ecosystem or a diversity of clothing brands in your closet, but in human organizations and communities we need to build a diversity of identities, like race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation.
Inclusion is about people with different identities feeling valued, leveraged, and welcomed within a given setting; people being engaged in the decisions that affect them.
Adapted from Blog by Meg Bolger
EDI INTERN INVESTMENTS
Equity-Diversity-Inclusion (EDI) Internship
In collaboration with community-based partners, such as World Relief Seattle, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, and Duwamish Valley Youth Corp, we are developing a professional training internship for self-directed young leaders of color, age 16-23.
Equity Advocacy Interns develop a community-based project to support partner organizations, school districts, agencies, and businesses that have missions related to equity, sustainability, youth empowerment, and workforce development.
EDI Interns learn about and apply policy, planning and performance frameworks such as the City of Seattle Equity and Environment Action Agenda, the King County King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative, and King County’s Equity and Opportunity Infographics on what’s working, who’s left behind, and the 14 Determinants of Equity.
GREEN CEILING 2.0
Launched in 2014 as a working group of thought leaders at the intersection of the environment and race, Green 2.0 commissioned a comprehensive report on diversity in the environmental movement. It surveyed 191 environmental non-profits, 74 government environmental agencies, and 28 leading environmental grant making foundations to investigate their gender and racial diversity composition, the majority of which state diversification as a “value.” The study included confidential interviews of 21 environmental leaders from diverse backgrounds and experience.
An overwhelmingly white “Green Insiders’ Club.”
People of color are 36% of the U.S. population, and comprise 29% of the science and engineering workforce but they do not exceed 16% of the staff in any of the organizations surveyed. For decades, environmental organizations have stressed the value of diversity however the diversity composition has not broken the 16% green ceiling. People of color support environmental protection at a higher rate than whites. However, environmental organizations are not adequately reaching out to organizations representing people of color communities.
Learn more about Green 2.0
ORGANIZATIONS WE ADMIRE (in alphabetical order)
Center for Diversity and Environmental Professionals of Color - Seattle Chapter: EPOC is a network by and for people of color and includes over 1,000 leaders nationwide. The purpose of this network is to provide a safe space for connecting people of color across the U.S. to catalyze change by surviving, thriving, innovating, and leading in environmentalism. EPOC provides support, opportunities to grow and develop as leaders, and tools to be effective change agents.
Duwamish Valley Youth Corps: Established in 2014, this Program supports restoration and revitalization of the Duwamish Valley neighborhoods of South Park, Georgetown and surrounding areas. The program is a paid environmentally-based job skills program for teens and is equal parts environmental science, job skills training, stewardship, and outdoor hands-on community service.
ECOSS: Educates and empowers businesses and diverse communities to implement environmentally sustainable practices. With an international staff that speaks over a dozen languages, ECOSS delivers environmental education, resources and technical assistance in the areas of stormwater permit compliance, recycling and food waste, energy efficiency, Brownfields, Green Stormwater Infrastructure, and outreach to multicultural communities and businesses.
El Centro de La Raza: As an organization grounded in the Latino community, their mission is to build unity across all racial and economic sectors in order to organize, empower, and defend vulnerable and marginalized populations. They provide a unique blend of services and advocacy to better serve and raise awareness of the needs of the Chicano/Latino community.
FEEST - Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team: Setting the table for young people to transform the health and equity of their community by gathering around food & working towards systems change. FEEST empowers low income youth and youth of color in White Center and Delridge to become leaders for healthy food access, food justice and health equity.
Front and Centered: Front and Centered is a statewide coalition of organizations and groups rooted in communities of color and people with lower incomes; they are on the frontlines of economic and environmental change. Front and Centered builds and amplifies a more powerful movement by engaging and bringing leaders together, building capacity, and providing coordination and technical support.
Got Green: Got Green organizes for environmental, racial, and economic justice as a South Seattle-based grassroots organization led by people of color and low income people. They cultivate multi-generational community leaders to be central voices in the Green Movement in order to ensure that the benefits of the green movement and green economy reach low income communities and communities of color.
Institute for Community Learning: Empowers individuals and organizations to create a vision of a more just nation and world. They engage and empower youth towards academic, social, and professional achievement. Throughout the west coast region, ICL hosts community leadership events, seminars and professional development classes for educators, paraprofessionals, administrators, public servants, and elected officials.
Just Health Action: Just Health Action is a non-profit organization based in Seattle advocating to reduce health inequities that result from social, political, environmental, and economic conditions. JHA has been working since 2004 to develop and teach a critical health literacy curriculum allying with communities to conduct research and document inequities that have been prioritized for community action.
King County Communities of Opportunity: COO is driven by community-led strategies and solutions. Community members and leaders, organizations, and institutions share power, voice, and resources. COO works to achieve more equitable community conditions through community partnerships in geographic and cultural communities, systems and policy change, and shared learning. Through an extensive community-led planning process, Coo is building collective capacity around four outcomes. (1) Quality affordable housing for all—Preservation and development of affordable housing that is in close proximity to transit, jobs, and education. (2) The right to be healthy—Access to healthy, affordable food and safe places outside to be physically active, especially for our youth. (3) Increased economic opportunity—Workforce development that includes local hires, support of new local businesses, and inclusion of our youth. (4) Strengthened connections to the community—Increased civic participation and engagement, cultural preservation, and access to safe public spaces.
Latino Community Fund of Washington: LCF programs create a vibrant community through civic engagement, healthy families, arts and culture. They identify, share and advocate for what is working in the Latino community. LCF cultivates new leaders, supports cultural and community based non-profit organizations, and improves the quality of life for all Washingtonians.
Living Well Kent: Living Well Kent is a community-driven collaborative dedicated to creating a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable city. LWK’s specific goals include creating a community in which all residents have widespread access to healthy and affordable food, safer streets and public spaces that encourage physical activity, greater equity and a strong sense of community inclusion.
Puget Sound SAGE: Puget Sound Sage is an organization led by majority women of color that is accountable to and serves the interests of low-income people, communities of color as well as immigrants and refugees in the Puget Sound region. In particular, they focus on Seattle, South King County, and North Pierce County. They advocate for policy change at the local and regional level, where they believe community voice can have the most impact.
Rainier Beach Action Coalition: RBAC is a grassroots neighborhood development action coalition devoted to implementing neighborhood responsive renewal and development. They focus specifically on the implementation of the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan (1997, 2012). RBAC is one of many neighborhood groups that Rainier Beach residents (youth and adults), community organizations, businesses, agencies and institutions trust to work together to improve the status of youth and families and to enhance quality of life in the Rainier Beach neighborhood.
Rainier Scholars: Rainier Scholars offers pathways to college graduation for hard-working, low-income students of color by providing access to transformative educational opportunities. Scholars engage in a proven, 12-year model that brings together the academic preparation, leadership development and personalized support they need to graduate from a four-year college and become career professionals and leaders.
Rainier Valley Corps: Rainier Valley Corps promotes social justice by cultivating leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by people of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Their Community Alliance Program provides advocacy and collaboration, coaching, fellowships and operations support to free up their partners’ time so they can focus on serving communities of color.
Technology Access Foundation (TAF): A nonprofit leader applying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education as a tool for realizing social change and educational equality in communities of color and those with low income. Offering technology-based programs since 1996, TAF creates opportunities for students of color to engage with STEM disciplines and to prepare them for college-level study and professional roles in those fields.
Unleash The Brilliance: Founded by Terrell Dorsey to help close the achievement gap for students at risk of academic failure and to keep them out of the school to prison pipeline. Their youth leadership training program, school assemblies and interactive curriculum titled “Think. Plan. Fly.” help youth learn skills to successfully navigate pitfalls associated with negative peer pressure, bullying, substance abuse, and a host of other at-risk factors and behaviors.
World Relief Seattle: World Relief Seattle has worked since 1979 to empower the local Church to serve and help refugees and immigrants in the Greater Seattle Area. They provide support and care for refugees and immigrants through the first months and years of transition as an investment in future generations. World Relief Seattle strives to be a sustainable, holistic ministry of compassion and practical support.
Young Women Empowered: Y-WE empowers young women in the greater Seattle area from diverse backgrounds to step up as leaders in their schools, communities and the world. They do this through intergenerational mentorship, intercultural collaboration, and creative programs that equip girls with the confidence, resiliency, and leadership skills needed to achieve their goals and improve their communities.
KING COUNTY EQUITY MAPS
King County has a fascinating set of maps that show the distribution of demographics such income, race/ethnicity, and languages. The maps are used by county staff for community engagement, program planning, and equity analyses. See the Maps