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Green Group Diversity Survey 

 

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Evaluated, produced and distributed by the African American Environmentalist Association in consultation with the Green Group DRC Advisory Committee

The Green Group Diversity Report Card (DRC) has been developed to assist African American and other People of Color organizations, individuals, the general public, agencies, media and environmental groups in evaluating the level of participation by African Americans and other People of Color in traditional environmental organizations.  This report card is necessary because data is not readily available to address the perception that established green groups are intentionally elitist, racially segregated and do not reflect many of the cultural and racial values of African Americans and other People of Color.  The report card is one source of information to quantify the demographics of the green groups.

Just as the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the NAACP grade congressmen and congresswomen on their voting records, the Green Groups need to be rated on their actual commitment to diversity.  The green groups consistently express a desire to include more diversity on their staffs, partnerships and budgetary commitments.  However, the sad fact is that all of the groups are woefully inadequate in these areas.  Thus, intent to diversity does not translate into assistance for heavily polluted and threatened minority communities.  It does not help the struggling people of color environmental organizations working to assist these communities.  Hopefully, 2004 will reverse the trend towards elitism. 

Participation in the Green Group Survey is voluntary and relies on self-reporting by the participating groups for data.  Groups declining to participate will be reported as refusing to participate in the survey and will automatically be given a “poor” rating.

Green Group Diversity Survey

Does your organization have grants or contracts with the Federal government?

Yes______ No_______ List Agencies________________________________________

If yes, indicate range: Less than 100,000________Greater than 100,000___________

1.     Number of professional minority employees (number of nonminority employees).

2.     Number of administrative minority employees (number of nonminority admin employees).

3.     Percent of minority employees over the past 3 years (average) compared to nonminority employees.

4.     Do you have a formal Diversity Program?

5.     Number of minority program managers and project directors (number of nonminority program managers and project directors).

6.     Number of formal (programmatic, monetary, managerial) partnerships with minority organizations.

7.     Number of minority contractors used for goods and services (at least 3 with at least 15% of supplier/services budget).

8.     Use services of minority bank (at least one).

9.     Total amount of contributions to minority environmental organizations (threshold: 15% budget)

10. Percent of budget dedicated to minority staff and minority programs.

Bonus: Describe the positive or negative effects of diversity at your organization. Describe your plans to improve diversity at your organization in 2004.

Report Card Explanation

Each item has a value of 10 points or 10 percentage points.  The ratings include: 100%-80%-Excellent, 70%-50%-Good, Below 50%-Poor  

The Environmental Movement should reflect the demographics of America.  As such, we are using a specific percentage as the basis for evaluating environmental groups.  We believe that a 15% participation rate is a fair measure for applying the criteria listed above.  It also provides a tangible target for groups to measure themselves.  This percentage rate will be applied to appropriate criteria. 

1. Number of professional minority employees (number of nonminority employees). Although many environmental groups have minority employees, they are usually administrative staff, especially the receptionist position.  Professional employees include research assistants, research associates, researchers, lobbyists, and management/accounting-level (CEO, VP, COO, CFO, CPA, Development Director).  We believe that a 15% minority participation rate is reasonable for full ten-point credit.  Ten percent or more—six points.  Five percent or more—three points.

However, we realize that this level of participation will be problematic for traditional environmental organizations because the work environments can be hostile, exclusive, and policy positions can be contrary to personal, racial and cultural beliefs.  Thus, the history of minorities in these positions is poor.  When minorities are hired, the retention rate is poor.   Minority participation will remain poor as long as working environments at environmental groups are hostile and as long as they are unwilling to entertain and adopt minority-friendly policies.

2. Number of administrative minority employees (number of nonminority admin employees).  Groups should score here because it must be comfortable for both parties to interact at this level.  Secretaries, receptionists and typists are important positions for effective and efficient operation of any organization, however, more aggressive efforts should be made to recruit and retain professionals.  This should not be difficult in urban and suburban areas where most environmental groups are located because there is abundant minority talent in these areas.  A 15% participation rate qualifies the group for credit in this category.  Ten percent or more, 6 points. Five percent or more, 3 points. 

3. Percent of minority employees over the past 3 years (average) compared to nonminority employees.  This is a combination of administrative and professional employees over time.  A group, for whatever reason, might have a year where minority employment slips.  However, if there is a low percentage over time, then a clear pattern and practice of discrimination is implied. It also implies that minorities are not aware of positions at these organizations as a result of separate living patterns, cultural disconnects and intent to avoid employing diverse populations.  A 15% combined participation rate qualifies the group for full credit in this category.  Ten percent or more, 6 points. Five percent or more, 3 points.

4. Do you have a formal Diversity Program?    This question requires a simple yes or no response.  If yes, specify program director and range of estimated program budget (e.g., $100,000-$200,000, etc). 

5. Number of minority program managers, project managers, program directors and project directors (number of nonminority program managers and project directors).  These positions are crucial to the implementation of the policies of the organizations.  At least two (2) positions are needed to qualify for full credit in this category.   Five points for one position.

6. Number of formal (programmatic, monetary, managerial) partnerships with minority organizations.  This category includes programmatic partnerships that deal with substantive issues.  This category can include jointly funded and executed programs or programs that are subcontracted to, and executed by, minority organizations.  At least three (3) formal partnerships are needed to qualify for full credit in this category.  Six points for two formal partnerships. Three points for one formal partnership.   

7. Number of minority contractors used for goods and services (at least 3 with at least 15% of supplier/services budget for total credit).  Three points for 1 contractor. Six points for 2 contractors.

8. Use services of minority bank (at least one).

9. Total amount of contributions to minority environmental organizations (threshold: 15% budget).  A group can take credit for this category if 15% of its budget goes to minority organizations.    Six points for 10%. Four points for 5% or more.

10. Percent of budget dedicated to minority staff and minority programs.  A group can take total credit for this category if 15% of its budget is dedicated to minority staff salaries and minority programs.  The credit is 6 points if 10% or more of its budget is dedicated to minority staff salaries and minority programs.  The credit is 4 points if 5% or more of its budget is dedicated to minority staff salaries and minority programs.

Bonus: How has your organization changed due to having a diverse or more diverse staff? In what new areas are you now doing or considering doing business or investing? What new, better or different ways are you communicating to or with the public? In what new geographic areas are you now working or considering? What new or different short term and long term strategies do you now have that you might not have had otherwise? In other words, has it made a substantial or significant difference to your organizational activities and goals to have diversity in significant staff and management levels? Up to 10 points at the discretion of AAEA.

Return to: AAEA, Green Group DRC Advisory Committee, 1629 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006

Questions? Call (443) 569-5102 or email to: AfricanAmericanEnvironmentalist@msn.com

 

Copyright 2003. African American Environmentalist Association. All Rights Reserved.