Connecting rising leaders of color with conservation careers.
Land connects us all. However, the benefits of land conservation have not been distributed equally. Although more than 30% of North Carolinians identify as a person of color, the conservation sector remains overwhelmingly white. We acknowledge land conservation has marginalized some communities - often communities of color – impacting health outcomes, quality of life, and economic stability. Today, the lack of racial diversity and cultural inclusion makes it nearly impossible to confront the complex challenges facing North Carolina’s communities.
Founded in 2008, the Max Internship program provides a platform for college students and graduates of color – including people of Asian, Black, Latinx, multiracial, and Native American descent – to engage in and help shape conservation work. Rising leaders of color from across the state participate in paid 10-week summer internships, gaining real-world, hands-on experience. CTNC provides compensation, one-on-one mentorship, and professional networking to equip interns with a strong foundation for successful careers in conservation and beyond.
We all have work to do. During the program, host sites learn about conservation through a lens of race and power. Through a combination of individual and group learning, host site supervisors build their capacity to facilitate discussions about race within their organizations, understand their relationships to power, and develop strategies for transforming a culture based in race equity practice.
Engage and support young leaders of color in conservation work
Provide professional development and networking opportunities for rising conservation leaders
Increase racial equity and inclusion capacity of conservation organizations
We have placed over 100 interns with land trusts, government agencies, universities and conservation-related nonprofits. Preference is given to rising juniors, seniors and graduate/professional students.
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