By Katrina Hagedorn
Image by Trang Nguyen
Climate change is not just an individual issue, state problem, or national concern. It is one of the greatest challenges the world has ever faced.
The current workforce is not ready to undertake the challenge of transitioning to a clean economy. Additionally, marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. Given both of these issues, SEI aims to strengthen leaders across communities and integrate environmental justice, equity, community engagement, and collaboration into all of its programs. Our Climate Corps program has been doing this work in collaboration with communities across California for over a decade. We are excited to announce that we have been expanding Climate Corps into new areas to help drive a national workforce transformation! One such area is the Pacific Northwest, including the state of Oregon.
Within Oregon, a diverse group of organizations has partnered to develop the ‘Oregon Climate Equity Project,’ which will broaden the climate movement in the state and strengthen BIPOC leadership in climate policy, advocacy, and development. In the Project, five Climate Corps Fellows focused on climate justice within BIPOC communities will be placed with nonprofit organizations and public agencies serving Oregon. Our partners on this project include Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Climate Solutions, Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC), Earth Advantage, Forth, the Oregon Environmental Council, and Verde.
What does a resilient world look like to you?
To quote Aldo Leopold, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” While written decades ago during a very different time on Earth, Leopold’s words guide my thinking about what a resilient world looks like - A world that has human-designed systems that support the needs of both people and the planet. A world with systems that are centered on equity. A world with systems that are powered by renewable energy, have zero waste, and build strength and resilience from diversity. As the people lucky enough to be alive during this pivotal time in history, we have the opportunity to reimagine those systems to ensure that we are resilient in the face of a changing planet.
The SEI Team
Environmental education and workforce development experts share stories from the field