Our mission is land conservation - what does racial and social justice have to do with us? Recent events have led us, like many, to pause and reflect. We all have a role to play in creating a more just society.
On an organizational level, we have long understood that participants in land conservation and even outdoor recreation are almost always middle to upper class, and white. We’ve lamented that fact, we’ve discussed it, and we’ve brainstormed around it. How can we, as a local conservation organization, be more welcoming and inclusive in our work? How can we best embody our “land for all” values? But the truth is, we’ve not done enough to proactively create a more inclusive organization welcoming of all members of the community we serve.
On a personal level, many of us are having those “courageous conversations” with ourselves and with others. What role have we personally played in perpetuating (unknowingly or not) the systemic issues surrounding inequality? How can we, as individuals, become better allies and participate in the positive change we desire?
We don’t have all the answers, but like many of you, we’re asking questions with a renewed commitment toward the collective work that must be done by each and every one of us. We’re listening, learning, and each finding ways to stand in solidarity with those who fight for and have long deserved true social justice.
My grandmother once wrote, “We are all fellow hikers on the trail of life. Sometimes we need to share our water with or carry the pack of another, and sometimes we need them to do the same.”
As for our part, the land trust will continue finding ways to serve whole communities through land conservation. We welcome your input and invite everyone to join us.
Yours in conservation,