Moving Forward Initiative

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About
Launched by The Corps Network (TCN) in the spring of 2017, Moving Forward is an initiative to expand career exposure and increase employment in conservation and resource management for youth and young adults of color. TCN will explore unconscious bias and structural racism within The Corps Network, our member Corps, and America’s land management agencies. Often unintentional, unquestioned bias limits opportunities for young adults of color and feeds off economic inequality, which we will also address in this initiative.

TCN describes this work in racial equity as a journey and not just as trainings. The start of this journey is the development of a foundation of knowledge on which to examine racism in the United States and our own connections to institutional racism. TCN will provide tools and education to our staff, staff at our member Corps, youth enrolled in our Corps, and staff at America’s federal resource management agencies to make all parties more aware and better prepared to address bias and structural racism.

The vision of the Moving Forward Initiative is a space where young people of color are more aware of career opportunities in conservation and resource management; they are ensured equal access to these careers; and the agencies that manage our public lands are more culturally competent and aware of the history that has shaped the conservation workforce. The Initiative is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

 

Why This is Important
Failure to address systems and knowledge deficits that limit opportunities for Corps alumni would be antithetical to TCN’s mission of helping Corps empower America’s youth. At the intersection of Corps, which train the next generation of conservation professionals, and the agencies that hire such professionals, TCN is uniquely positioned to – with the guidance of experts in racial equity – help make racial equity the standard in resource management. Young adults of color represent roughly of half of our Corpsmembers, and, with the development of native youth programs and the expansion of Corps in both urban and rural areas, we realize that this number will grow.  

TCN recognizes the racial inequities at the origin of Corps. Created in 1933, during the time of Jim Crow, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) separated black and white corpsmen into different camps. Though they represented 10 percent of overall membership, African-American corpsmen had little opportunity to climb the leadership ranks. Qualified men were overlooked and, when eventually hired, often faced hostile and racist work environments.

As TCN’s member Corps train diverse young adults for the resource management workforce, it is essential that we recognize past injustices and do our part to help create a conservation work environment in which diversity is celebrated. 

 


MFI Blog


Farming as a Political Act: The Connection between African-Americans and Land - Part 1
May 24, 2018


 

Moving Forward Initiative - A Letter from our Project Director: May 9, 2018
May 9, 2018

 

African American Connections to Green Spaces in Chicago During the Great Migration: A Conversation with Dr. Brian McCammack
April 5, 2018

 

The CCC Indian Division: Native Americans in the Civilian Conservation Corps
March 29, 2018

 

Native Americans: Everywhere and Nowhere
March 26, 2018


Moving Forward Initiative Guest Series: Interview with Dr. Dorceta Taylor on Diversity & Equity Initiatives within Environmental Organizations

February 5, 2018


This Land is My Land? The Legacy of Early Interactions Between Native Americans and Colonists
November 21, 2017

 

Moving Forward Initiative Guest Series: Interview with Dr. Andrew W. Kahrl on African American Leisure and Recreation Spaces in the Era of Jim Crow
November 7, 2017

 

Moving Forward Initiative - Blog: The African American Experience in the Civilian Conservation Corps
August 17, 2017

 

Moving Forward Initiative - What it is and What to Expect
July 14, 2017

 


Resource Library 

Moving Forward Initiative one-page fact sheet (7/26/17)