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Emerald Cities Collaborative Brings Diversity to Environmental Movement

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ECC Comment on “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations” by University of Michigan Professor Dorceta Taylor for Green 2.0

Washington, D.C., August 6, 2014 – Unlike many U.S. organizations in the environmental arena, the Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) not only boasts a diverse staff but also is dedicated to ensuring that low-income communities of color benefit equitably from efforts to curb climate change and increase U.S. energy efficiency.

Those benefits include improved air quality and reduced instances of asthma and other respiratory illnesses caused or exacerbated by air pollution, as well as job opportunities and economic development.

More than half of ECC’s staff in Washington, D.C., and 10 cities nationwide are people of color, including African Americans, Hispanics and Asians.

“ECC’s ‘triple bottom line’ embraces environment, economy and equity,” says President and CEO Denise Fairchild. “Our mission is to improve the environment and spur economic development in low-income communities of color by creating jobs in green building – usually involving energy efficiency and/or renewable energy retrofits to municipal and commercial buildings.

“These are ‘high road’ jobs that pay living wages and offer career paths, often through union apprenticeships that have historically been out of reach for minorities,” she explained 

“Moreover,” Fairchild continued, “each of ECC’s 10 local directors works with a diverse, community-based council to carry out its mission.

“In short,” she concluded, “ECC brings an equity dimension to the environmental movement, both internally and in our important and impactful work.” 

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Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) is a national nonprofit network of organizations working together to advance a sustainable environment while creating economic opportunities for all. ECC is headquartered in Washington D.C. and works in 10 “Emerald Cities” nationwide with local and national partners that bring resources and expertise from the community, labor, business and government sectors. 

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