We believe that all people deserve access to a clean, healthy environment, and that the environment and justice are inherently interrelated. Communities that bear the brunt of environmental degradation have historically been marginalized and excluded from the environmental movement. We must address these historical and ongoing injustices toward communities of color and low-income communities to fulfill our mission.
We will incorporate these values into our work in the following ways:
OLCV is committed to creating a culture of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our commitment includes a dedication to constant learning. We will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from missteps and to improve.
- We will ensure that each member of our board and staff is committed to working on equity and justice.
- We will hold elected leaders accountable not only for their actions related to climate action and environmental protection, but also related to equity and fairness. We will also ensure that democratic systems are accessible to all people.
- We are committed to being part of and leading increasingly diverse coalitions that reflect our state’s population and promote leadership from communities of color.
- We will ensure that equity is considered when we work on legislation and policy, and we will stand with with social and racial justice groups.
In doing all of the work above, we should be innovative and use our innovation pool dollars to support new work to meet our diversity and justice goals.
To do this work, we will educate our board, staff, volunteers, and members on environmental justice and equity, as well as encourage them to join us in solidarity in the fight for social and racial justice. We will actively seek to include the voices of those previously left out of the environmental movement within our organization.
While we acknowledge that our capacity as an organization means we cannot always implement inclusive measures to the level that we might like or as fast as we might want (such as providing printed materials in multiple languages), we strive to challenge our perceived limits. We are accountable to ourselves, both as staff and board, and to the community.
We will put people at the heart of our work.
This statement was drafted with inspiration from many other groups who are doing this important work. We are grateful for their leadership.
Every Wednesday, OLCV holds a weekly equity meeting dedicated to exploring the intersections between our work and environmental and social justice. We read articles and books, listen to podcasts, watch informative documentaries and TV shows, and discuss how we can improve in our own work. Check out the resources section below for a look at what we’ve been reading/watching!
Another major focus of these meetings is our Equity Work Plan, which is an ever-evolving document that breaks down our organizational goals and reaffirms our commitment to social, racial, and environmental equity. We actively seek to interrupt racism, both within the environmental movement and in our everyday lives, and we are constantly seeking to learn, improve, and grow.
Here are some of the materials we’ve discussed at our weekly equity meetings. Check back for more resources, as we’ll keep updating this list as we go along!
- A Flowchart For People Who Get Defensive When Talking About Racism
- Diversifying the American Environmental Movement
- Is Environmentalism Just For Rich People?
- On Columbus Day, Being Undocumented in America
- The Great Awokening
- The Nonprofit Sector as White Space
- The Racist History of the Environmental Movement
- The White Problem (Part 1) & How White People Got Made (Part 2)
- Racial Equity Change from the Outside In
- What’s Your American Dream Score?
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- Five Things You Should Know About Racism
- Honoring Indigenous Cultures and Histories
- How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race
- I Am Not My Status
- Say Yes: A Lesson in Code Switching
- Solving Illegal Immigration For Real
- When They See Us (TV Series)
- White Fragility
- Why Racism Isn’t Just A Southern Problem
- The Standing Rock Resistance and Our Fight for Indigenous Rights
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo