Conservation is crucial but not sufficient for ensuring that all people have the opportunity to prosper in healthy communities. What intersection does conservation have with the pervasive, tangled problems brought on by slavery, Jim Crow, and the public policies and norms that disproportionately harm people of color to this day?

The creation of a more just society cannot be assigned as a task to specialists in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice matters. It cannot be achieved by the dispossessed acting alone. And there is no one strategy to accomplish it. Rather, a more just society requires conscious thinking and multiple strategies and actions carried out by diverse peoples and organizations.

WeConservePA is committed to providing a variety of programming focused on or incorporating DEIJ principles and resources to help individuals and conservation organizations engage in the work of DEIJ.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Community

The DEIJ Community provides a forum to share experiences, learn about and advance effective practices, and identify opportunities to individually and collectively promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in conservation work and organizations. Contact Sara Painter at [email protected] to participate.

DEIJ Community Organizing Body

The DEIJ Community Organizing Body is an ad-hoc committee focused on co-creation, building power together, and planning for the larger conservation community. Contact Sara Painter at [email protected] to express interest.

DEIJ Community Organizing Participants

Participants current as of 09/30/2020.

Valerie Bader, North Country Trail Association

Jenn Bigler, Wissahickon Trails

Marcelo Bonta, JEDI HEART, ELP

Margaret Hodgkiss-Lilly, Chester County Parks + Preservation

Tykee James, Wyncote Audubon Society, ELP

Amanda Hickle, Lancaster Farmland Trust

Katie Hess, South Mountain Partnership, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Scott Cope, Wildlands Conservancy

Renee Carey, Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy

Keisha Scovens, Let’s Go Outdoors (LGO)

Andrew Kirkpatrick, Willistown Conservation Trust

Carissa Schnabel, Natural Lands

Carlos Claussell-Velez, The Nature Conservancy

Genny McIntyre, Western PA

Olivia Le Warn, CDRW

Jean Lynch, PA DCNR

Sara Painter, WeConservePA, ELP

Andy Pitz, Climate Reality Leadership Corps, ELP

Sara Corcoran, Sierra Club

Alicia Cramer, US Endowment for Forestry

Nicole Faraguna, PA DCNR

Lina Beron Echavarria, WeConservePA

Todd Pride, The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County

Resources for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice

Statements from Conservation Organizations

Conservation & Justice for All. Statement from the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association.

Our Commitment to Addressing Racial Injustice and Fostering Inclusivity. Message from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology on committing to combat racial injustice and racial inequality.

Our Nation’s Historic Stain. Message from President and CEO of The Conservation Fund on conservation’s role in enabling honest dialogue and discussion on racism within the US.

We’re trying but we need to do more. Statement from President of Berks Nature, Kim Murphy.

A Special Message from French & Pickering’s Executive Director, Bill Gladden. Statement regarding the continuation of making natural spaces refuges for everyone.

Breathing the Same Air. Statement from Todd Pride, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County, on addressing racial injustice in conservation and the ability of nature to unite everyone.

Nature for All. Statement from Natural Lands addressing the need to ensure that natural spaces are open to everyone.

Outdoors for All. Statement from DCNR regarding the commitment to making natural spaces open to all.

Environmentalists Cannot Remain Silent on Racism. Statement from the Nature Conservancy on the need to elevate marginalized voices in strategic discussions in environmental action.

We Are an Alliance of Allies. Statement of alliance with Black Lives Matter from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

In Solidarity. Message of solidarity from Lancaster Conservancy.

Racial Injustice & Our Next Steps. Statement from Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area.

Conservation Hasn’t Done Enough to Dismantle Racism. Statement and reflection on racism in conservation from Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

ASWP Statement on Racism. Statement from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

A Message to Our Members and the Manada Conservancy Community. Statement from Manada Conservancy.

Statement from Neighborhood Gardens Trust. Statement from the Neighborhood Gardens Trust regarding racial injustice.

Message from Dave Arscott. Message from Dave Arscott, Executive Director of Stroud Water Research Center.

Racial Equity is the Only Path. Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s message of unity and action.

Pulling Down Our Monuments. A reexamination of the Sierra Club’s past and role in perpetuating white supremacy from Sierra Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune.

Revealing the Past to Create the Future. An account and reckoning regarding John James Audubon from President and CEO of the National Audubon Society, David Yarnold.

A Necessary Reckoning. A statement from the president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance on the reckoning of land trusts in perpetuating inequity and an announcement of a task force that will develop and deliver a full curriculum on America’s history of public and private land conservation and its place in systemic racism, land loss, and disenfranchisement.

A Letter from Maya K. van Rossum: Racial Justice Demands Constitutional Green Amendments. A video discussing the intersection of environmental rights and environmental racism, and how passing a constitutional environmental rights amendment (a Green Amendment) in every state across the nation can serve as an invaluable tool for communities facing disproportionate environmental burdens.

Anti-Racism Resources

Anti-racism resources for white people. A compilation of resources intended to help white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work.

Dear White People: Guidelines for Impactful Actions in Support of the Black Community. Blog post in J.E.D.I. Heart that provides insight on making racial equity actions and growing ally-ship impactful and effective.

Four Ways White Supremacy Culture Hinders J.E.D.I. Progress. Blog article from J.E.D.I. Heart on the ways in which recognize how white supremacy can show up in organizations.

Implicit Association Test. Test from Project Implicit that provides individual reports on attitudes or beliefs regarding implicit associations.

Project Implicit. An organization that translates that academic research into practical applications for addressing diversity, improving decision-making, and increasing the likelihood that practices are aligned with personal and organizational values.

Seeing White. Scene on Radio is a podcast that tells stories exploring human experience and American society. Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University and is distributed by PRX.  Season 2, the Peabody-nominated Seeing White, Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika explored the history and meaning of whiteness.

The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture. A list of white supremacy characteristics from the book Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups.

Diversity & Inclusion in Conservation

By the Numbers: Building a Better Board. Blog post from the Land Trust Alliance highlighting the need for diversity when establishing a board of directors.

Challenging the White Narrative of Conservation. Article from Melanin Base Camp on the need to challenge the white narrative in the conservation movement.

Changing the Face of the Environmental Movement. Video from the Environmental Leadership Program on the need to encompass diversity in the environmental movement.

DEIJ in Action: A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Guide for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. DEIJ action guide prepared for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Region.

Diversity and the Conservation Movement. Module on diversity developed by the National Audubon Society, the North American Association for Environmental Education, ToyotaTogetherGreen, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and EECapacity.

Diversity & Inclusion Resources for Trail Advocates & Community Allies. Collection of resources from the Partnership for the National Trail System.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed’s list of DEIJ resources and DEIJ toolkit.

Diversity in the Great Outdoors: Is Everyone Welcome in America’s Public Lands and Parks. Article from Resources on barriers to participation in outdoor recreation and paths forward.

Engaging Latino and Hispanic Communities: Best Practices for Water Groups. Article from the River Network on engaging Latino and Hispanic populations in water conservation groups and organizations.

Environmental Groups Say They’re Committing to Racial Equity. What Does That Mean? Article from WHYY on the statements, commitments, and actions taken by environmentalists and conservation organizations to address racial equity.

Environmentalism’s Racist History. Article in The New Yorker on the history of racism in the environmental movement.

Environmentalism & White Supremacy. Article from Hirschman Water & Environment, LLC on the connection between the environmental movement and white supremacy.

For the LGTBQ Community, Birding Can Be a Relief – and a Source of Anxiety. Article from the Audubon Society on how birders are working to make birding more inclusive and welcoming.

Green Girl Leah on Why Environmentalists Must Speak Up for Black Lives Matter. Article featuring Leah Thomas on why environmentalists and environmental organizations need to stand with the black lives matter movement.

Leaking Talent: How People of Color are Pushed Out of Environmental Organizations. Report from Green 2.0 on diversity, equity, and inclusion in environmental organizations.

Nature & Privilege: How COVID-19 Has Unlocked Equity Gaps in Nature Access. Article from the Children & Nature Network on the equity gaps in nature access as revealed by COVID-19.

Nature for All: The Groups Bringing Inclusion Outdoors. Interview with José G. González, the founder of Latino Outdoors.

Nicole Jackson: Environmental Educator – Black Birders Week. Blog post from PBS’s Nature featuring an interview with Nicole Jackon (one of the co-organizers of Black Birders Week), who discussed how to make environmentalism more inclusive.

Philanthropy Can’t Support the Common Good When It Supports White Supremacy (Letter to the Editor). Letter to the editor of explaining how the Chronicle of Philanthropy must reflect on the role of philanthropy itself in promoting, funding, and sustaining organizations committed to white supremacy.

Racist Roots, Lack of Diversity, Haunt National Parks. E&E News article on the history of racism in the National Park Service.

Standing for Black Lives. Collections of educational resources compiled by the Conservation Trust for North Carolina about systemic racism, the radicalized history of land, and how we as a conservation community can become strong allies to people of color.

Statements About George Floyd Are a Start, but How Will Organizations Live Their Values? Conversation from the Chronicle of Philanthropy on how organizations can abide by their statements against racial inequality.

Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program (SFLR). Article from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities focusing on the opportunity for minority landowners to increase family income and land asset value through improved sustainable forest management, with a broader goal of land ownership retention.

The Conservation and Diversity Program. Blog post from the Land Trust Alliance providing an overview and results of the Conservation & Diversity Program created by the Conservation Trust of North Carolina.

Transforming a Movement: How Foundations Can Support Effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Capacity Building Efforts in Environmental Organizations. Report from J.E.D.I. Heart on how DEI can support capacity building efforts in environmental organizations.

Why the Climate Fight is a Social Justice Fight. Post from the Climate Reality Project on the interconnection between climate action and social justice.

Why Every Environmentalist Should be Anti-Racist. Article in Vogue on the importance of combating racism within the environmental movement.

Personal Reflections

As an Immigrant Woman of Color, Invisibility Kept Me Safe Outdoors – Until it Didn’t.  Reflections from a Filipina American on invisibility as a person of color in the outdoors.

Being Black While in Nature: ‘You’re an Endangered Species.’ Article from Pocket Worthy on the inequalities for black people who spend time in nature.

This Land is Your Land? Insights from an African American Conservationist. Photographer and videographer, Dudley Edmonson, reflects on his relationship with nature and the need for diversity and the dismantlement of systematic racism in conservation.

Thoughts on the Killing of George Floyd. Personal reflection by Chad Brown featured in Hatch on systematic racism in the outdoor industry.