I recently read the best article by Paula Brock of the Seattle Times dealing with the subject of diversity in the green movement. The piece started with an opening line that read" What's a nice black guy like me doing in a movement like this?" That question is the basis for today's blog.
Typically when you hear about the environment or the green movement it's rarely if ever being discussed in the context of inclusion and communities of color. Generally speaking, the green movement has been seen by the African-American community as organically White. Why? Primarily because the main issues focused on by the masses in this movement do not tend to specifically address the issues that African-American moms are primarily concerned with in African-American neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods with high concentrations of asthma, pollution, and unhealthy schools are all serious concerns of African-American moms so it would seem as if the environmental movement would take off where the civil rights movement left off in the African-American community but it hasn't. And, it hasn't because like with the feminist movement many African-American moms feel a sense of exclusion and as if their concerns aren't the green movements concerns.
What environmentalist are missing out on is that as Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights says (and I am paraphrasing), “You can't ask people who are thinking about surviving to care about the polar bears". What that means is if environmentalists want to make any inroads with African-American moms they have to go back to marketing and pr 101, back to the basics. Theses organizations have got to demonstrate how such a global issue directly affects these moms and their families in their local communities. Simply localize this global issue.
As soon as environmentalist start talking about asbestos in inner city schools, the disproportionately high rate of asthma in the African-American community, and starts addressing the either real or perceived issue of environmental racism and classism, more African-American moms will sit up and take notice. It's as complicated and as simple as that.
Playground Public Relations, LLC, was launched in 2005. Since its inception, the boutique pr firm has led their clients’ efforts to increase their visibility within the coveted African-American Mommy Market. Besides being the Principal and CEO of Playground Public Relations, Inc. , Terri-Nichelle Bradley has also given seminars around the country teaching companies how to successfully market to African-American moms and teaching moms how to promote and grow their businesses. Mrs. Bradley is married and lives with her husband Rodney and their four children D'Andre, Justin, Maya, Makayla and dog Captain Jack Sparrow in suburban Atlanta.
For more information on Playground Public Relations visit: http://www.playgroundpr.com/