To the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community: Your life matters. We see you. We hear you. We are in solidarity with you and we will do better for you.
Last summer we put out a statement condemning racism and oppression that led with the above words directed to the Black community. Our commitment to fighting anti-Black racism remains steadfast. Unfortunately, circumstances in this country have motivated our staff to make a similar statement directed to the AAPI community—especially our own staff members who identify as part of this vibrant and diverse group.
With the increased violence directed toward the AAPI community over the last year, we feel that it’s necessary to reaffirm our commitment to tackling racism—in all forms—in our work. The Coalition is working to address racism and oppression within the outdoor sector. Our goal is to help advance equity and make outdoor spaces safer and more accessible for all of our communities, including the AAPI community, the Black community, Indigenous communities, and every other Community of Color.
However, words are not enough. Self-reflection is not enough. We must actively address these inequities and the structural racism in our systems. Our JEDI Action Plan is what we at the WWRC are doing to address these things within in our organization and our work. This plan is ever-evolving, but here’s what it looks like today:
Work We Are Actively Doing
• Using more equitable language & imagery in describing and defining outdoor spaces
• Including Native Land acknowledgments and their relevance to our work
• Improving inclusivity in our events
• Using our platform to elevate voices that are already doing the work to diversify the outdoors
• Engaging in mandatory racial justice development for staff
• Budgeting for continued individual staff education & growth on JEDI topics
• Center equity in our handbook and hiring process
• Providing staff with increased flexibility to manage the emotional and mental challenges of racism
• Implement equitable fundraising practices
• Working with RCO and partner groups on development of a thorough community-driven review of state recreation and conservation grant programs, as well as securing up-front community investment funds
To begin within 1 year
• Engage with groups in underrepresented communities to create authentic relationships, understand challenges, support their solutions, and celebrate what their work
• Include voices of communities that have been traditionally underrepresented at the Coalition
• Begin diversifying board recruitment, with particular intent to improve representation from tribal communities
• Restructure our current fee-based organization membership system to be more equitable and encourage more mutually beneficial relationships with all current and prospective partners
• Include Native Land acknowledgments for all projects on our website
• Build considerations of Native Land into our policy work, including encouraging recognition of Native Lands by land management agencies, etc.
To begin in 1+ years
• Evaluate options for additional policy work we can engage in to advance equity in the outdoors
• Hire a professional DEI consultant to work with the Coalition for a long-term period
• Implement structural and administrative changes to the board to make it more equitable and welcoming
• Continue efforts to diversify board membership
• Re-evaluate organization mission, vision, values, and goals on an annual basis to ensure they reflect current JEDI priorities