past event
The Environment

Closing the Gap: Centering Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Green Economy

Register for Closing the Gap Event

Ethnic and racial minorities have been severely underrepresented in the environmental workforce, although they are the most likely to be affected by the impacts of climate change. In fact, a 2014 report, which studied 191 U.S. conservation and preservation organizations, 74 government environmental agencies and 28 environmental grant-making foundations, found that ethnic minorities do not exceed 16 percent of board members or staff of environmental organizations. According to another 2017 study, white people account for more than 4 of 5 positions in the sector. Some gains have been made, but sustainability industries still have significant progress to make to reach people of color and to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. What more can these industries do to center diversity, equity and inclusion in the environmental and energy sectors?

Hosted by the Future Leaders Climate Initiative, this workshop will highlight the fundamental steps specific organizations are taking to seek out people with valuable, yet underrepresented perspectives and skills, as well as tips on how you can identify opportunities to build skills and gain experience in environmental fields.


Andrés Jimenez, Executive Director, Green 2.0 | @DiverseGreen; @andresforchange
A long-time environmental advocate, Andrés Jimenez was tapped by Green 2.0’s Board of Directors in June 2020 to serve as its first full-time Executive Director. Andrés is a strategic thinker, a relationship-builder, and carries a deep, empathetic connection to the communities he advocates. Most recently, Andrés served as Senior Director of Government Affairs at Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), where he worked with both the House and Senate to help expand the voice of CCL and advocate for relevant legislation. Andrés also served as the Associate Director of Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy with a focus on creating bipartisan solutions for critical issues like ocean acidification and sustainable fisheries in the United States.

Andrés has a strong history of public service, having worked for New York City’s mayor’s office, the House Judiciary’s Immigration Subcommittee, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, and Congressman Howard Berman. His work also includes being an active member of the GreenLatinos as well as serving on the board for the Culmore Clinic and a member of the Green Leadership Trust. Andres was appointed as Planning Commissioner for Fairfax, Virginia in 2020.

Patty Menjivar, West Coast Lead, Women of Color Collective in Sustainability |
A Los Angeles local, Patty Menjivar is an engaged community member, and an Indigenous Latina. She is a leader in Sustainability and has 20 years experience in management in sustainability frameworks and rating systems, equity, climate change initiatives, circular economy and environmental compliance programs for campuses, Fortune 100s and municipal agencies. She is successful in the development, management, and administration of projects that involve multiple stakeholders to facilitate the completion of multiple projects. As Sustainability Manager, Ms. Menjivar has served as Sustainability Consultant to private firms, State Agencies and Utilities. She is an appointed founding member to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Sustainability Council. Ms. Menjivar has led ESG committees and Community Practice on Climate Resilience, Equity, and Sustainability. She has driven global teams on ESG measures and service line leadership.

Moderated by:

Kristy Drutman, Host, Brown Girl Green | @browngirl_green
Kristy Drutman otherwise known as, “Brown Girl Green” is a Jew-Pina American environmental media host, speaker, activist, and digital media strategist. Kristy is passionate about working at the intersections between media, diversity, and environmentalism. As a youth climate activist, Kristy has spoken in front of thousands as well as facilitated workshops centered around environmental media and storytelling in cities across the United States. She has also worked with youth from around the world to create collaborative, intersectional online media with the goal of creating conscious, culturally relevant content to engage audiences about proactive solution-building to the climate crisis.

Event information
Fri Jun 4, 2021
3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT