Although Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the United States are more likely to suffer from the effects of climate change as a result of systemic injustice, they are severely underrepresented in the environmental field. People of Color comprise about 38% of the U.S. population, but they hold fewer than 12% of leadership positions in environmental organizations.¹
The Dean, faculty, and senior leadership of the Bren School have a growing awareness of our part in perpetuating racism and exclusion, both in our own institution and in the environmental field at large, and we are determined to rectify it.
We know that one of the most significant barriers to attending graduate school is lack of adequate funding. As we shared with you in our message at the end of April, we asked our faculty and staff to contribute to the OneBren Endowed Graduate Fellowship for Diversity Fund, which provides financial support to incoming and current students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Our faculty and staff came through. Of the $61,725 we have received toward this fund in the last year, Bren School faculty and staff contributed $45,225. As a result of the contributions of faculty, staff, and other donors, the OneBren Diversity Fund well exceeded the $50,000 threshold to qualify for the UCSB Graduate Division’s Student Fellowship Accelerator Program.
This year, we seek to grow the fund to $75,000 by extending that appeal to our wider OneBren community. Our current students are leading the way with a commitment by the MESM Class of 2021 to devote their Class Gift contributions to the OneBren Diversity Fund.
Now, we ask for your help. Will you join our faculty, staff, current students, and donors in supporting the OneBren Endowed Graduate Fellowship for Diversity Fund? Gifts can be made as one-time contributions, as recurring, or as pledges for up to five years.* If your employer has a matching gift program, you can leverage your support even further.
- Dean Gaines
¹ Dorceta E. Taylor, “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations”, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources & Environment, Ann Arbor, 2018
*We encourage you to enroll in making a 5-year pledge to catalyze this effort and further benefit future Bren students! Contact Beth at email@example.com to stretch your contribution over 5 years.