For decades, environmental and parks organizations have struggled to diversify their staff and leadership. Where they have diversified, people of color often continue to be concentrated in the lower ranks. With unemployment among African Americans in 2020 spiking from 5% to over 16%, there is urgency to hiring and advancing people of color in parks and environmental organizations. This session will explore strategies for engaging youth of color and adults who have been marginalized from the workforce, building their technical and soft skills to prepare them for meaningful careers, and supporting the creation and development of minority-owned businesses in the fields of parks and environmental stewardship. Four speakers will share their innovative approaches to addressing the necessary building blocks for diversifying park, urban greening and environmental organizations at all levels, and ensuring our urban park systems benefit from their unique skills and perspective and better serve residents of all backgrounds. Session participants will have a chance to join breakouts with individual speakers for a deeper exploration of each of their unique approaches.
Building a Diverse Workforce for 21st Century Parks