Purdue University


Purdue University’s Center for the Environment affirms its organizational commitment to respecting all people regardless of, but not limited to, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental/physical ability, religion, age, political affiliation, citizenship, and region of origin. At this moment in history, those of us affiliated with the Center join our voices with people and organizations across the world to affirm that Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge that the United States has inherited the shameful legacy of its slave-owning past and was built on ideologies that supported institutional racism, sexism and discrimination against People of Color and other minority groups that are still evident today.

The Center acknowledges that we are geographically located in the traditional homelands of the Woodland People. We honor and appreciate these Indigenous caretakers which include the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Lenape (Delaware), Myaamia (Miami), and Shawnee People. We acknowledge the forced removal of Indigenous Peoples from these lands, and their struggles for survival and recognition. As scholars, we have a responsibility to acknowledge both the Peoples as well as the histories of genocide, dispossession and slavery that have allowed for the growth of institutions, cities, and states across the United States. By reflecting on these histories, and how racist ideologies manifest today, we hope to actively address the role that our universities have played and how we can create an anti-racist United States.

We commit to supporting racial and social justice, confronting equity and rights concerns, and affirm everyone has a right to dignity and life in a safe and healthy environment. The collective expertise of Center affiliates in environmental scholarship and practice gives us particular capacity and responsibility to address the intersection of racism and environmental justice. Our guiding vision calls us to emphasize the deep connections between human society and the ecosystems that support us—to seek out more promising solutions to environmental challenges than those that focus exclusively on technical or scientific fixes, or on social, political, or economic considerations in isolation. To do so effectively, we must actively seek out voices from environmental scholars who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We believe that diversity in approaches, opinions, and ideas is essential to create an inclusive vision for a healthy planet and for improved opportunities for all people to have access to clean water, air, and soil; healthy food; and safe built environments.

Working with the campus community and regional and national leaders, the Center pledges to address interlocking systems of oppression and racism by implementing and promoting policies to increase diverse representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and others in our scholarly communities, providing resources for us all to understand and address bias and discrimination, and building comprehensive systems that support anti-racist and inclusive research and policies at Purdue University.

To begin, we set out the following general goals:

  • Build an inclusive climate by committing to anti-racist policies, practices, and procedures that align with Purdue’s antidiscrimination statement;
  • Increase the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color among the faculty, staff, graduate students, and post docs at Purdue;
  • Actively promote environmentally-focused education and professional development opportunities that address bias, racism, discrimination, and hate;
  • Showcase and celebrate the work and success of diverse scholars in our Center and elsewhere;
  • Promote opportunities to connect faculty research to diversity and equity initiatives.

Comments and feedback can be sent to: environment@purdue.edu. You will receive prompt responses and we look forward to hearing from you.