There are two events coming up that I’d like to share with you.

The first is this Thursday, October 2, from 5 to 7 pm at the Dr. Wesley Grant Southside Center, 285 Livingston Street. The event, hosted by Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council and UNCA’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, is “Multi-Generational Conversations on Race, Pt. 1.”  The invite reads: “Join us for our two-part series — a diverse group of panelists will participate in community conversations on race, age, and generational differences in perspectives.”

The second event, “Everybody’s Environment: Voices for Conservation and Community,” will be held on Friday, October 10, also at the at the Dr. Wesley Grant Southside Center. This conference will look at diversity and environmental movements.* The Keynote Speaker will be Melanie Allen, Diversity Director for Conservation Trust for North Carolina. To attend, you must register by this Friday October 3 at http://www.diversityed.org/everybodysenvironment

*Deborah Miles of the Center for Diversity Education shared this via email:

“Why a conference on Diversity and the Environment?

Here is a highlight from the recently published “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations” study which surveyed three types of environmental institutions across the US: 191 conservation and preservation organizations, 74 government environmental agencies, and 28 environmental grant making foundations:

The current state of racial diversity in environmental organizations is troubling, and lags far behind gender diversity.

  1. The percentage of ethnic minorities working in environmental organizations has increased over time.
  2. Despite the growth in the ethnic minority population in the U.S., the percentage of minorities on the boards or general staff of environmental organizations does not exceed 16% in the three types of institutions studied.
  3. Once hired in environmental organizations, ethnic minorities are concentrated in the lower ranks. As a result, ethnic minorities occupy less than 12% of the leadership positions in the environmental organizations studied.
  4. Yet ethnic minorities and people of multi-racial backgrounds comprise about 38% of the U.S. population.
  5. The diversity manager’s position is the only position that minorities are more likely to hold than Whites in environmental organizations. However, relatively few of the organizations had such a position.

WNC is a hub of activity for governmental and non-profit organizations with a focus on the air, water, and land that sustains us. Through intentional collaboration we can broaden best practices to improve these statistics in the staff, board members, vendors, and visitors of regional organizations.”

I’m very glad these events taking place! Kudos to the organizers!