News and Events
Diversifying Green – Voyage Round Table Report
We are please to share our report on the Round table that was held on Thursday 29th October 2021.
The roundtable VOYAGE Youth organised on the 28th of October 2021 brought together over 30 environmental charities and businesses to present and discuss the key challenges and issues to diversifying the environment sector, with special regards to young black people. We split the roundtable into two breakout rooms: in one we presented and discussed key elements of our Young Leaders for Sustainable Cities course; in the other young people shared their perceptions and barriers to the green movement and careers.
State of the sector
Globally, the West has alienated black people from environmental organisations by putting blame on countries in the South, without looking at the colonial past. Power, privilege and colonisation still have a knock on effect today and countries with a colonial past suffer from a lack of resources and infrastructure and struggle to adapt to climate change.
- The sector has a eurocentric view on the world.
- Environmental organisations do not know the right recruitment circles for employing black people.
- Unpaid internships and work experience are a barrier to getting into the sector.
Changing the Culture
- Protesting as a form of environmental action and campaigning and getting arrested is not a suitable form of action, because of the distrustful relation with the police.
- Communication and story-telling will empower young people to share their story and will be examples for other black people to join the movement. This should not only be used in relation to race and discrimination to avoid tokenism.
- The Young Leaders for Sustainability Cities course will have a strong focus on empowering young people through active learning. The course should also include economics as this drives the destruction of the environment and is about power and who is in charge.
- A lack of support for black people in predominantly white organisations makes young black people feel inadequate and not welcome. A barrier is having to adapt to the culture of the organisation, rather than feeling welcome in a shared space.
- For young black people to be able to speak out, space and opportunities need to be created to do so.