At Ecotrust, we see equity as an integral component of our mission, vital to fostering resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems. Deep-rooted, systemic diversity is essential to our ability to survive and thrive. Yet, significant disparities persist in economic opportunity and environmental well-being in our region and beyond.
Addressing these disparities means redressing the historic, systemic oppression against members of society based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation and other identities. It means understanding and actively shifting power, resources, and privilege toward disenfranchised communities. And it means embedding equity, diversity, and inclusion in our culture, operations, programs, and community partnerships.
To understand our role in unconsciously perpetuating inequities through our work and workplace culture, Ecotrust completed an organizational self-assessment on racial equity in 2016, identifying nine key areas for growth across the organization to more fully embed our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In 2017, we launched a Racial Equity Action Plan based on this assessment, and in 2018 we prioritized social and racial equity as one of our organizational imperatives, recognizing that to achieve our vision of a world where people and nature thrive, we cannot leave anyone behind. Equity is an imperative for building a just and inclusive society.
Shifting culture inside and outside our walls is hard, often uncomfortable work, and a lifelong commitment. To do this, we are empowering staff at all levels to adopt an equity lens in all we do—at the hiring, spending, programmatic, and relational levels. We work to create a shared understanding of equity through trainings and professional development opportunities, we hold ourselves accountable to communities of color, and we work to create a culture of inclusion both within Ecotrust and as we engage externally in our work.