ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR (EPOC)
The National Environmental Professionals of Color Network is a growing community of leaders of color across the USA at work on a vast array of critical environmental issues, from habitat conservation to environmental justice to upstream public health. At a time when there are over 100 million people of color living in the U.S.—a number that is projected to more than double by 2050—EPOC is working to build coalitions that address the diversity crisis at the heart of the environmental movement.
EPOC members are galvanized by a vision of an inclusive, equitable and relevant environmental movement. The challenge we face today is also a great opportunity: diversifying environmental organizations while effectively connecting people of color to the environmental movement will enrich the work as well as strengthen the movement politically, financially and culturally. Coalition-building is by nature uncomfortable, as Bernice Johnson Reagon discusses in Coalition Politics: Turning the Century, but successful coalition-building means taking the step forward together, across cultural, generational and racial lines. EPOC members are thought leaders and passionate change agents who are committed to positively impacting their communities, strengthening the environmental movement, and engaging a broader audience than has been historically invited into the work. Development of the EPOC network helps to ensure that the groundswell of activity across the nation does not happen in isolated pockets, but contributes to a comprehensive and strategic path forward.
EPOC chapters are currently active in Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., with chapters under development in San Francisco, Denver, Boston, and in multiple cities in North Carolina.
If you are a person of color and would like to join the Environmental Professionals of Color network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on our established EPOC chapters and their illustrious leaders here.