Mike CermakAs someone who spends half his time teaching and studying in a university among some rather well-off and highly educated young people, and the other half working as an environmental educator in urban high schools, I see a range of responses to the message and spectacle of Earth Day. At my university, I’m fairly involved with the student clubs that promote sustainability, and we are planning a daylong celebration with a band, exhibitor tables, art … the works. But just a few miles away, in the urban high schools, I still hear, “You’re really into that white people stuff” as a common response when I talk about eco-this or sustainable-that.
Despite the environmental movement’s newfound introspection on its largely white and affluent constituency, I still see a large gap to be bridged when it comes to how Earth Day, and the entire Earth-ethos, is embraced.
From the perspective of someone who sees strength through diversity as critical for the green movement, I’m tired of us mimicking marketers by saying we need to grab the attention of this or that racial or minority group with our message. Instead I think there can ... Read more