Bringing More Diversity to Environmental Stewardship

The 5th annual Americas Latino Eco Festival is happening at the Denver Museum for Nature and Science, September 15-17.

It’s a Latino hosted multicultural event elevating the voices of communities of color and of women in conservation and cultural leadership. One of the people who’ll be speaking at the Festival is Carlos Fernandez, Colorado Director of The Nature Conservancy. Fernandez says there has been some improvement in having people of color in leadership positions in environmental advocacy organizations, but more needs to be done.

“It’s not as diverse as we would expect but I do see a very positive trend towards diversity in the not for profit sector in general and in particular in the environmental not for profit sector.”

Fernandez says it is crucial that there is more diversity in environmental advocacy when we look at the changing demographics of the country.  In the next decade, it is estimated that one in four children under ten in Colorado will be Latino.  “Unless we really work with and engage with the community, every time we’re going to be less relevant and that’s not where we want to go.”  He says that kids, no matter where they are in the state, need to have the same access to the open spaces and mountains of Colorado. For the month of July, The Nature Conservancy brings under-privileged high school students from Denver to Carpenter Ranch, near Steamboat Springs,  to participate in their LEAF program (Leader for Environmental Action for the Future.)

Carlos Fernandez will be participating in a Colorado River summit that is part of the Americas Latino Eco Festival.