Dear Stewardship Partners community,
Stewardship Partners stands in solidarity with and in support of Black lives. As a historically white-led environmental organization, we recognize the intersectionality of racial injustice and our contribution to a system designed to oppress Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We acknowledge that we are part of the problem and are committed to doing our part in dismantling this system that promotes racial violence and injustice.
In this time of great sorrow and reflection, we acknowledge the injustices of our country and the structures of our society. We have been horrified by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbery, as well as the thousands who were murdered before them. Yet, we know that while a simple acknowledgment of solidarity may be necessary so that we do not sit in privileged silence, it is not enough to say that we stand with people of color. We must act. We must do more. We must be part of the solution.
We need to look no further than the purpose of our organization, which revolves around engaging and empowering people, from every walk of life and community, in being caretakers of the land and water. Our actions will fall into the following categories:
Listen – We will give space and listen to the voices of BIPOC communities.
Show Up – We will follow the lead of BIPOC communities and support their vision of the antiracist environmental movement.
Act – We will do the work to dismantle the system of institutionalized racism.
Collaborate – When invited, we will continue to collaborate with BIPOC partners.
As an organization, we are committed to analyzing our practices and policies to push toward more significant racial equity. We know that because BIPOC communities are more greatly impacted by environmental damage, and we must change our behavior to meet the injustices these communities grapple with daily.
In addition to promoting equitable and inclusive programming, we are deepening our commitment to:
- Follow and revise our board-adopted Organizational Equity and Social Justice Value statement
- Define a leadership (board) recruitment strategy using a racial equity lens
- Review and revise our HR recruitment, hiring, and retention policy with a racial equity lens
- Continue promotion/messaging acknowledging the moment, the injustice, and the history of racism in the country, as well as our understanding that we still have a lot of work to do internally
Stewardship Partners will continue to create people-based solutions that engage Puget Sound communities as caretakers of the land and water that sustain us. However, we won’t be able to fulfill this mission until we have racial justice on a systemic level. We vow to do our part in that process, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it will be.
We stand in solidarity with Black lives, Stewardship Partners.