Urban Green is dedicated to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for our staff and community. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, we spent the last year developing concrete steps we can take to become an anti-racist organization. Our staff-led working groups identified key areas where we’ve made progress, but also identified others where we have more work to do. To effectively address systemic racism, we are committed to educating our team, changing how we operate and fostering an inclusive sustainability community. Our plan will evolve as we learn more, solicit feedback and continue to get advice and guidance from DEI consultants.
As a first step, every staff member helped in completing a DEI organizational self-assessment to identify areas for improvement and set a roadmap for action. After completing the assessment, we formed four staff-led working groups, invested in staff training, and engaged DEI consultants to review our goals and advise us moving forward. See our four main focus areas below and near-term goals from our 3-year action plan.
Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments, as well as resources we should know about. And please check back for updates on our progress.
2021 Focus Areas
Items currently in progress in italics
We identified HR as a key area where we can change internal norms and practices that will make measurable impacts on diversifying our staff and Board of Directors and improve inclusivity in our day-to-day activities.
- Expand the diversity of our applicant pool by developing and maintaining new relationships with 3-5 schools or associations that serve BIPOC populations.
- Work with the Board of Directors to commit to new diversity goals for Board Members, including race, gender, age, and ability.
- Create and implement meeting norms for all large internal and external meetings to ensure we create an inclusive space where all voices can be heard.
- Reduce bias in the hiring process through new blind hiring protocols and specialized training for HR staff on implicit bias.
Improve our organizational culture to prioritize inclusivity and commit to ongoing employee education that addresses the impact of bias.
- Develop and implement annual training for current staff and new hires that explains implicit bias and provides strategies to reduce or eliminate bias within the workplace.
- Expand our Strategic Plan to include specific goals and initiatives focused on becoming an anti-racist organization.
Develop new programming that addresses the impact of climate change on marginalized communities.
- Develop and launch a new 2021 Conference, Climate, Equity and Health, No More False Choices, that will investigate how we can optimize policy and building design for climate, equity and health together—and discard paradigms that sometimes pit one against the other for compromised solutions.
- Create new highly accessible programs, course content and resources that highlight the connection between buildings and environmental justice and share widely within our community.
- Re-examine programs, and outreach strategies to improve accessibility to New Yorkers in marginalized communities.
Foster a more diverse, inclusive member base within the NYC sustainability community by expanding access to programs and soliciting regular feedback for continual improvement.
- Provide free student memberships to underrepresented groups and continue to deliver virtual training at low or no cost to underrepresented audiences.
- Conduct an annual community survey to learn more about our members and better understand and respond to their needs. Use the data in order to improve the membership experience and attract new audiences.