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Racial Equity in Environmental Sustainability

A group of young people use a megaphone


#BIPOC Voices #Environmental Justice #equity #Social Justice


Nefertari Bilal

A new study has found that BIPOC people are woefully underrepresented in environmental sustainability fields, despite having a strong interest in solving climate change and other environmental issues. The lack of diversity has stemmed from systematic racism that exists within the field, leading to discrimination, isolation, and exclusion among BIPOC students, as well as the lack of inclusion of diverse staff and voices within schools.

Here is a list of steps researchers at Loyola, Dartmouth, and DePaul Universities cite to facilitate equity:

  • Integrate BIPOC voices into the curriculum by incorporating literature by BIPOC, including Indigenous perspectives, inviting BIPOC as guest speakers, addressing social justice within courses, and partnering with local communities in course projects
  • Train faculty and staff in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Hire racially and ethnically diverse faculty and staff
  • Actively recruit BIPOC students out of high school
  • Create resources to support BIPOC students either through financial scholarships, research opportunities, or student groups
  • Action
  • Definition