At the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment, a peace activist named John McConnell proposed the idea of an international Earth Day to foster appreciation of the earth and to remind people around the world of their common need to preserve its delicate ecosystems. Around that same time, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced the idea for a national environmental teach-in because he wanted to force environmental issues onto the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, buoyed by the massive momentum and energy of the Vietnam War protests, 20 million Americans marched or participated in environmental teach-ins around the country.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the concept of environmental justice also gained national visibility as activists of color pointed out that communities of color and other marginalized communities were disparately impacted by pollution, toxic dumping, and other negative environmental consequences of industrial, government, and commercial activities. Leaders like Jeanne Gauna and Bill Gallegos and groups like the Mothers of East Los Angeles and the Indigenous Environmental Network mobilized to protect their communities. They argued that the environment wasn’t only about the outdoor wilderness, but also comprised the spaces where people live, work, and play.
Climate change and environmental justice, like other social and environmental issues, are complex challenges that require unconventional thinking and problem solving that are supported by the effective use of technology and data. They require the sharing of power, resources, skills, and knowledge between diverse teams and diverse communities.
EPIP offers our members a space in which to practice your skills, share your resources, and work collaboratively to pursue justice at every level of our society. We encourage you to check out the resources listed below.
Program Manager | Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
This April, we are highlighting Measuring a Leader’s Innovation and Problem Solving skills, which include:
• Thinking unconventionally while inspiring others to as well
• Soliciting diverse perspectives to aid problem solving
• Analyzing problems, creating solutions and solving problems quickly
• Integrating new technology and data analysis into problem solving
We’re also highlighting some of the ways that members are demonstrating these skills, such as:
• Proposing new ideas to problems in their workplace or community organizations
• Building diverse teams when creating solutions
• Using new media to connect with partners for problem solving
- Try out our sample discussion and peer coaching guides that you can use to share and exchange ideas, resources, and best practices. Organize a brown bag lunch and try them out in your local chapter! Give us your feedback on how we can improve for the following months.
- Follow us on Twitter @EPIPNational and retweet our posts. Use #EPIPLeaders to follow and join in the Measuring a Leader conversation.
- Tweet about it! Use #EPIPLeaders to share your own thoughts, ideas, or skills-related resources!
- Write a blog post. For example, how are you developing your Innovation and Problem Solving skills? Share what you’re learning through our blog! [EPIP Blogging Guidelines]
- Is your local chapter recruiting for new steering committee members? If so, apply to serve on a steering committee! Steering committees provide additional opportunities to develop Measuring a Leader skills.
- Check out some tools and resources developed by EPIP members and friends. Do you have a favorite resource, tool, article, book to help strengthen Innovation and Problem Solving skills? Share them in the comments section!
- Like us on Facebook
- Join our LinkedIn group
- Are you on a local chapter steering committee? If you and/or your local chapter might want to co-design or co-lead in this campaign, fill out our survey here and we’ll get in touch!