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Ford Foundation joins foundations sharing data as Bullitt Foundation President Denis Hayes and Green 2.0 call on foundations and green organizations to submit Diversity Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over 25 of the leading environmental advocacy organizations in the United States submitted their employee and board diversity information to the first-of-its-kind data transparencyplatform on GuideStar, Green 2.0 announced on a press call on Earth Day. Green 2.0, GuideStarand D5– who designed the diversity data questionnaire – applauded all of the foundations and organizations that submitted their data, as it is a sign of commitment towards improving diversity at all levels at their respective institutions.  Across the entire nonprofit sector, over 1,000 nonprofits submitted diversity data. Within the environmental sector, over fifty nonprofits and over twenty five foundations submitted diversity data.

However, 18 of the nation’s largest mainstream environmental advocacy organizations have so far declined to dislose their diversity numbers to the GuideStar exchange. Bullitt Foundation President Denis Hayes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget for the U.S. Department of Interior Kari Sarri, and Green 2.0 called on all of the leading environmental foundations and organizations who have not submitted data to do so, and embrace transparency and diversity.

Green 2.0’s call to track diversity data followed the July 2014 release by Green 2.0 of the most comprehensive and widely-covered report on diversity in the green sector, “Diversity in Environmental Institutions” report, commissioned from Professor Dorceta Taylor. The widely publicized report found that although people of color are now almost 40% of the U.S. population, they have not broken the 16% “green ceiling” in mainstream environmental organizations, foundations, and governmental agencies.

“To continue to build a strong and just environmental movement, it is critical that we improve diversity among its leaders. I commend the organizations and foundations that have committed to openness and transparency on diversity and submitted their diversity data,” said Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D – AZ). “However, it is troubling that some Green organizations and the foundations that support them have not taken this initial step towards a more diverse sector.  Diversifying Green organizations and foundations will make them more effective in addressing current and future environmental challenges. The Green movement and the country’s people of color deserve nothing less.”

The call for data transparency has been echoed over the past few months by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Investor, Philanthropist and Advanced Energy Advocate Tom Steyer at Green 2.0 events on both the East and West Coasts. The Presidents of The Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Bullitt Foundations encouraged their peers and grantees to join them in sharing data as well on their GuideStar profiles.

“The Bullitt Foundation was quick to embrace the chance to participate in this groundbreaking initiative by Green 2.0, GuideStar and D5 to track data at scale, and we strongly encourage our peers to join as well. We are all most likely to improve the things that we measure,” said Bullitt Foundation President Denis Hayes. “The Bullitt Foundation recognizes the urgent need to genuinely diversify the mainstream movement, not with symbols and tokens but by making it relevant to all people. At its birth, the environmental movement was a big tent, welcoming to all who shared its basic commitment to a healthy, resilient, equitable, peaceful future. 

 We need to return to those roots.”

In addition to showing who submitted data, the Green 2.0 infographic shared on Earth Day also notes the steps organizations and foundations have taken to improve their diversity internally, especially at the management levels. Concrete efforts such as diversity committees, diversity managers, and diversity plans are illustrated. While Green 2.0 highlighted the twenty eight leading green advocacy NGOS in the infographic, we applaud the many smaller organizations who also submitted data.

“For the first time, anyone can go online and look at an organization’s diversity profile on GuideStar, and we can start establishing a baseline from which to measure progress. The commitment to transparency is critical to accelerate the decades-long effort to have an inclusive green movement. Green 2.0 applauds first-movers that have heeded the call to embrace transparency and do their partto improve the diversity of the environmental movement,” said Green 2.0 Director Danielle Deane.

Robert Raben, the founder and President of Green 2.0, added, “We urge the organizations and foundations who have not submitted data to submit in the next two months – tracking data is a basic first step, whether you are trying to solve climate disruption or diversity. We celebrate today’s progress, but we have work to do and we haven’t truly won until this movement is truly diverse and inclusive.”

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