The West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum seeks to “inspire and inform communities on how to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving the way they source, use, and recover materials.” However, the WCCMMF recognizes that its strategies to achieve these goals must be sensitive to the varying needs of diverse communities and populations. As a WCCMMF member, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked ERG to design and conduct workshops to help the Forum’s leadership team:
- Achieve a shared understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and vocabulary.
- Learn how to shift organizational culture, apply DEI principles to project work, and integrate DEI into future work to achieve more equitable outcomes.
ERG started by examining the WCCMMF’s mission, organizational structure, toolkits, and resources and then met with the leadership team to gain insight into their current state and future goals. We then designed, conducted, and provided collateral materials for three highly interactive workshops to provide WCCMMF leadership with a shared foundation for working toward the Forum’s goals.
- The first workshop, DEI Principles and Vocabulary, began with diversity awareness activities and then explored historical legacies, current realities, and opportunities for progress, centering an awareness that we all have multiple intersecting identities that influence our perspectives and experiences in complex ways. This workshop concluded with an overview of DEI principles, vocabulary, and practices that promote inclusion and equity.
- During the second workshop, Applying DEI Principles, participants explored varying organizational DEI roles and inclusive practices by examining DEI considerations in project work and then worked through a case study based on an existing WCCMMF toolkit.
- During the final workshop, Envisioning a DEI Future, participants discussed how organizations can shift policy, behavior, and infrastructure; analyzed WCCMMF’s vision and mission; explored how they might integrate DEI to advance a goal of more equitable outcomes; and discussed the need for transparency and accountability when shifting toward a more equity-centered agenda.