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Corps launches initiative to increase diversity in natural resource professions


Sherling Yang (left) and Victoria Chasko cleared debris using a crosscut handsaw.

Sherling Yang (left) and Victoria Chasko cleared debris using a crosscut handsaw.

Conservation Corps Minnesota is teaming up with the Department of Natural Resources and University of Minnesota to support a diverse pool of young people as they pursue a college and career pathway in natural resources. Even though racial diversity is increasing in the United States, the racial composition in environmental organizations and agencies has changed very little in the last 30 years, as was recently reported by Green 2.0 in “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations.”

The Bridges Project will provide ongoing service-learning experiences, mentorship opportunities and academic support as Corps youth participants progress through Postsecondary Enrollment Options, internships and college. Program Director Eric Antonson praised the initiative, which aims to bridge the gap: “Minnesota, like the nation, is becoming more diverse. We need perspectives and voices at the table that reflect the rich social fabric of our state in order to make the best environmental decisions for the future. The Bridges Project will help ensure that all Minnesota residents are equally represented in managing our natural resources.”