Black Lives Matter to Cleantech & Sustainability

 In WCS Blog

Dear WCS Community,

WCS condemns injustice against the Black community in recent events and the long-standing, systemic racism throughout American society. As an organization, we have spent the past few weeks reflecting on how to more deliberately address social justice issues and practice anti-racism in our work to promote women in the cleantech and sustainability economies.

Truthfully, to date, we have not focused enough on using our influence to combat racism. For example, we acknowledge that we have not tracked the full demographics of our community, and that based on limited survey results, only two percent of our constituency identifies as Black. While many sectors of the green economy traditionally lack diversity, we also recognize the leadership role that WCS can play in promoting broader inclusion and equity in this industry.

WCS has always been committed to increasing women’s access, participation, and leadership in cleantech and sustainability. Today, we take that commitment further with a dedicated focus: we are making it a priority to increase our Black membership, volunteers, speakers, and board members, so these critical voices are present in every facet of our work. We are developing detailed milestones and metrics to share in the coming weeks and hold ourselves accountable for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization. With a stronger internal foundation, we can better serve our whole community.

We believe sharing our intentions and progress towards those goals is vital to our community’s growth and can help us address our inevitable blind spots. The WCS Board of Directors welcomes input from all of our community members to help shape these vital efforts. Please reach out to our Vice Chairwoman, Sara Fuentes (saraf@womencleantechsustainability.org), if you have ideas or would like to participate in these efforts. We also encourage you to reflect, listen, and take action to help your community.

Through new channels, partnerships, and opportunities, we can amplify marginalized and underrepresented Black voices to make our efforts more diverse and equitable and, ultimately, make our world more sustainable as we have done for gender diversity since our inception. After all, it’s the actions people take in their spheres of influence that ultimately make a difference. At WCS, we are committed to being the change we want to see in the world.

Your WCS board members,

Anna Astretsova

Abigail Carson

Sara Fuentes

Anita Gavini

Leah Goodman

Malini Kannan

Melanie Lucas-Conwell

Julia Murphy

Tara Peters

Lisa Ann Pinkerton

Sara Prochasson

Kelly Ratchinsky

Eleanor Sharpe

Kameale Terry

Caroline Trowbridge

Glenna Wiseman

Anandi Yadav

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