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 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, socio-economic factors or political affiliation. We seek out, support, and elevate people whose voices may not have been fully heard.” Read all our core values.
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 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, our volunteer leaders, regional coordinators, staff and our governing boards. 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.
Citizens’ Climate Moving Forward
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, especially Blacks, Indigenous and People of Color. 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, our health, and the well-being of all communities.
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.
Citizens’ Climate understands and values the concept of environmental justice and its definition of equity. We recognize that the policy we advocate for, by itself, will not fulfill the goal of environmental justice. We believe that a diversity of approaches is valuable in the climate movement and we encourage our supporters to work with and support environmental justice and other groups in addressing equity.
For many, equity also includes meaningful involvement in the process of developing and refining both policy and strategy. We are working to increase our diversity and inclusivity in part so that all voices can be part of that process moving forward.
Citizens’ Climate programs
To support our outreach to diverse organizations and communities of color, Citizens’ Climate launched the Diversity Fellowship in 2018. This opportunity is a paid, three-month position in our D.C. office, geared toward those who want to gain experience working with diverse advocacy organizations and with communities of color. The fellows get the chance to be on the Hill, attend meetings with CCL staff and congressional staff, conduct research, and more. The fellows can also take advantage of exciting opportunities at our June conference, such as participating in a panel discussion or leading a presentation. The fellowship application will be available once funding is acquired.
Higher Education Regional Fellowships
Higher Education Regional fellows are students or recent graduates who have experience with campus organizing and advocacy and are interested in engaging more young people in climate action. Regional fellows work with CCL’s Student Engagement Coordinator to recruit and support campus leaders, conduct outreach to higher education, and invite students to CCL’s regional conferences. This opportunity offers a nominal stipend to fellows organizing on their campus for either one or two semesters. See our higher education website for more information and an application.
Conservative Outreach Fellowships
Seeking to engage more conservatives on climate and on carbon dividends policy, Citizens’ Climate launched the Conservative Outreach Fellowship in 2019. The fellows have the chance to initiate and implement outreach to young adult conservatives. They work with conservative voices across CCL including our Conservative Outreach Director on engaging other conservatives on climate policy, participate in our Lobby Day meetings, conduct research, and more. This program is currently awaiting funding for 2021, and the application process will be posted here when available.
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 (application), designed to diversify the cultural representation of communities in our lobby teams, and the Conservative Scholarship (application), designed to provide political diversity in our lobby teams. These scholarship programs began in 2018.
Internships with CCL are enriching learning experiences working with staff in all areas of climate research, advocacy and outreach. The internships are open to any college student concerned about climate change and generally last one semester. Interns are essential to the operation of our annual conference and are offered scholarships to enable them to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate. In the past 10 years, this program has resulted in bringing growing numbers of youth and diverse voices to the conversation. For more information and current positions, visit our internship page.
Volunteer support, outreach, and leadership development
One way we support our volunteers is through Action Teams organized around shared interests and affinities. Some of these teams support our DEI efforts by providing community spaces, engagement with peers, and cultivation of leadership. DEI related teams include Latinos, Climate and Culture, LGBTQA+Allies, People of the Global Majority, Asian Pacific, Youth, Higher Education, Conservative Caucus, Environmental Justice, as well as many teams organized around religious affiliation. See our CCL Community website for a list of all of our action teams.
Youth Outreach and Engagement
Historically the average age of CCL supporters was quite high but through active outreach efforts we are now moving much closer to our country’s age demographics.
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 currently fund seven regional fellows to support higher education outreach. 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.