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As environmental professionals, we fight to protect diversity in ecosystems across the globe — from our seas to the soil to the sky. And as important as diversity is in our work, it is just as important in the people we work with.
Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community while working in STEM is no easy feat. In honor of Pride Month, we wanted to share stories of LGBTQIA+ people in the environmental field who have inspired us. If you are a queer individual interested in working with nature, know that these people have paved the path to a more inclusive environmental field. But unfortunately, the work is far from over. If you would like to support LGBTQIA+ people in the environmental field, following these environmental heroes and learning more about their stories and struggles is a great place to start.
JD Reinbott (he/him)
JD Reinbott, an openly gay marine conservationist has worked as a coral restoration practitioner, boat captain, and dive instructor for 5+ years....
This article is dedicated to Sierra Taliaferro, an outstanding environmental and social justice advocate. She has spent the past few months gathering stories from various Black environmental leaders and compiled them into a Facebook page called "The Green Obsidian". We admire her passion for raising awareness towards underrepresented conservation leaders and wanted to shed light on the inspiring work she does. The following pages are written by Sierra and linked directly to "The Green Obsidian".
"Back in 2018, I was thinking of shifting gears and considering exploring other career path options within environmental conservation. And although I saw some potential opportunities, I seemed to run into the same issue where there weren’t too many black people being represented, especially in mainstream media, in those roles and I found that frustrating.
There are a significant number of Black people that have contributed to the...
By: Neha Bhalla
Interested in working in environmental justice, but not sure where to start?
As climate change worsens, the harm that comes with it is not evenly distributed. Ongoing environmental issues, such as air and water pollution, tend to affect individuals from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds the most. More than half of individuals who live in hazardous environmental zones are people of color. Moreover, individuals who are disadvantaged in terms of wealth or race tend to have more difficulty recuperating from climate disasters.
This inequality has created the need to fight for environmental justice, “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
If you are looking to make an impact in the...