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Diversity and Inclusion

young people at a community garden
Community volunteers from Youth Ministries for Peace
and Justice, Inc. tend to overgrowth in
Concrete Plant Park in the South Bronx.

Since the inception of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 51 years ago, its mission to protect, sustain, and improve our environment is a cause that has united all cultures and heritages. Environmental stewardship is integral to many cultures, and the pursuit of ensuring a clean, healthy environment now and into the future remains a goal of our agency on a professional and personal level.

DEC is proud to observe Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 in honor of the history, culture, and influence of past generations of people of Hispanic origin. The observance started in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration as a celebration called Hispanic Heritage Week. On August 17, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a law extending this celebration into a month-long event, designating September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

DEC partners with community organizations across New York State that are serving Hispanic populations and addressing environmental issues head-on. These organizations recognize the unique challenges of their communities, and through funding provided by DEC's Office of Environmental Justice, are working to make our neighborhoods better for everyone.

View the profiles.

More about Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Hispanic Heritage Month - DEC is proud to observe Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 in honor of the history, culture, and influence of past and present generations of Hispanic New Yorkers.
  • Native American Heritage Month - DEC observe's Native American Heritage Month in November as a time to reflect on our relationships with our indigenous friends and neighbors here in New York and beyond.
  • Black History Month - February is Black History Month. Meet some of the DEC staff who make an environmental difference.
  • Women's History Month - Women's History Month is celebrated each March. Get to know some of accomplished women at DEC.
  • Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - In May, DEC celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Get to know several DEC employees who discuss their careers, heritage, and interests.
  • Pride Month Celebration - DEC celebrates Pride Month in June every year. DEC is proud to be a welcoming environment for all people.
  • Juneteenth Commemoration - New York celebrates Juneteenth as an official state holiday for the first time on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth (short for June 19th) commemorates African American freedom in our country. Its history goes back to June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that declared all enslaved people in Texas were free. While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation a full two and a half years before the end of the war, it wasn't until the war's end that enslaved people in Texas knew they were free.
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