Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Climate change affects everyone, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby endeavors to engage people from all backgrounds and sectors of our society in advocating for climate solutions.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are natural outgrowths of our values of relationships, integrity, personal power, and being nonpartisan. Diversity helps us develop the best solutions to climate change and broadens the base of support needed for passing legislation.
Our core value about diversity states:
“We empower everyone in exercising their personal and political power regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, socioeconomic factors or political affiliation. We seek out, support, and elevate people whose voices may not have been fully heard.”
Enacting these values is an ongoing process. We have been internally reviewing our processes for several years to ensure that we are living our values and that we are committed to continuous improvement. We are presently working in the following areas:
Education and training:
We are working to build our cultural competency and ability to create an inclusive culture, where people of diverse backgrounds are respected, valued, and integrated into our work at all levels. This includes regular and ongoing training for staff. For supporters and volunteer leadership, we will integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts and values into our conferences, national calls, online material, and general training, as well as provide more focused and in-depth diversity and inclusion training for those who are interested.
Diversifying our organization:
We are working to increase the diversity of our organization at all levels, including our supporter base, volunteer leaders, regional coordinators, staff and governing boards.
You can find out about job openings in the footer of our website. Additionally, we are supporting our volunteers as they work on diversity and inclusion in their local chapters.
Partnerships and alliances:
We are also working on building diverse support for climate solutions by building strong relationships with other organizations, both nationally and locally.
Our Diversity & Inclusion Director leads a 12-member staff team focused on evaluating our diversity goals and training staff (individual and group based) on a quarterly basis.
Our organization has been tracking our demographics since 2013. The first two charts below reflect the demographics of our volunteers based on age and race as they joined during each calendar year.
People of Color
Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
CCL Governing Board
Volunteer Leadership (chapter leaders, state coordinators, and liaisons to members of Congress)
We want CCL to be a welcoming and inclusive environment for anyone concerned about climate change and invite anyone who wants to join us in advocating for fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions.
We recognize that climate change has and will disproportionately affect those who have fewer resources and less political influence. We work toward climate solutions that are effective, while not doing harm to those who are most vulnerable or under-resourced. Climate change will also disrupt our economy, so we advocate for solutions that support our economic prosperity, health, and the well-being of all communities – especially Indigenous peoples, Black, Latinx, and other communities of color that are most impacted by climate change.
As an organization, we have made a clear and strong commitment to advocating for policies that will significantly reduce emissions and therefore the risks from climate change, while protecting people from undue economic burden from the policy.
Environmental Justice Statement
We recognize that the effects of pollution and environmental degradation fall most heavily on communities that are marginalized in our society, especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We acknowledge the legacy of racially biased policies in creating and perpetuating this imbalance. We know that the effects of climate change are already disproportionately hurting these under resourced communities and that it will only get worse if we don’t eliminate harmful emissions. Citizens’ Climate believes in the dignity of every person, and that all of us should have access to clean water, clean air and healthy food. We believe that these disparities must be addressed while we transition to a zero emissions economy.
We know that a Carbon Fee and Dividend approach will not solve all of the environmental justice problems we face. And yet we do think it will make things better for those currently suffering. Reducing carbon emissions will also reduce pollutants that negatively impact human health. In addition, by putting more money in the pockets of over 90% of low-income American households, it will help families economically through the transition. While it is not a cure-all for solving climate change or environmental injustice, we think this is a step in the right direction.
Citizens’ Climate diversity and inclusion programs
Some of our current initiatives include:
Volunteer support, outreach and leadership development
One way we support our volunteers is through Action Teams organized around shared interest and affinities. Some of these teams support our D&I efforts by providing community spaces, engagement with peers, and cultivation of leadership. D&I-related teams include Asian Pacific, Climate and Culture, Conservative Caucus, Environmental Justice, Higher Education, Latinos, Latinx Catholic, Listening to Indigenous Voices, LGBTQA+Allies, People of the Global Majority, and Youth, as well as many teams organized around diverse affiliations. See our CCL Community website for a list of all of our action teams and follow @ccl_inclusion on Twitter and Instagram to learn more. Our Spanish-Language outreach includes a website (climavivible.org), translated materials to Spanish and outreach to Spanish-language media. On a regional level, we work with Community Ambassadors to help our regions and chapters conduct educational programs, training, and BIPOC outreach and support.
Those of us who are alarmed about climate change come from all walks of life, political perspectives, and cultural backgrounds, but historically some people have been less included in the discussion. To widen the circle and ensure that more people participate in CCL, we offer scholarship opportunities for volunteers to attend our annual conference: the Diversity Scholarship, designed to diversify the cultural representation of communities in our lobby teams, and the Conservative Scholarship, designed to provide political diversity in our lobby teams.
*Due to the current pandemic, all conferences are virtual and free to attend. When in-person conferences are safe, grant opportunities will resume.
Youth Outreach and Engagement
Our higher education program focuses on students, educators and non-student allies. For students, we have developed the Campus Leaders Program, which trains and supports them in starting a climate campaign or CCL chapter at their school. Students are also engaged through internships with CCL staff and volunteer leaders. We conduct regular outreach to educators, educational institutions, and other organizations working with youth on climate for our national conferences, regional conferences, Earth Week, and more. For more about our higher education efforts, see citizensclimatehighered.org.
Our Youth Action Team supports volunteers of high school age and younger and encourages them to be active, engaged and empowered in building political will for climate solutions. Youth involvement in our local chapters and at our regional and national conferences and lobby days is growing each year. For more information about our youth programs, see youth.citizensclimatelobby.org.
Reaching across the aisle
In line with CCL’s commitment to bipartisanship and nonpartisanship, CCL works to unite people from across the political spectrum in building support for climate legislation. Because conservatives and other right of center volunteers are a minority within our organization, we provide extra programming to ensure that people who are right of center also find a home in CCL. For more information about our conservative work see Conservatives on Climate Change and connect with @cclconservative on Twitter.
Additional inclusion projects
In 2021, we are launching two new internal programs that focus on overall education of all CCL volunteers and staff. One program is our Race and Culture Conversations led monthly by the Diversity & Inclusion Director and our Director of Programs. The goal of the program is to focus on the intersectionality of race, culture and climate as members of CCL. A second program is called DEI Education & Roundtable Discussion Series, a biweekly monthly educational program led by the inaugural Diversity Fellows, that will tackle topics like anti-racism, ableism, environmental justice, sexuality and gender, and others, and is aimed at building a more culturally competent organization. Please follow the work of the inclusion team at @ccl_inclusion on Twitter.