Our Commitment to DEI

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Conservation Trust for North Carolina is deeply committed to our mission of conserving land in ways that inspire and enable people to build resilient and just communities where everyone benefits from conservation. We believe that we can only achieve our mission through our dedication and commitment to integrating and embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into all aspects of our organization and work. We acknowledge the value and impact of DEI in land conservation and our mission as an organization.

Our definition of diversity includes but is not limited to race or color (including natural hair or hairstyles); national origin or ethnicity; religious belief, nonbelief, or creed; sex or gender (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression); age; disability; genetics; National Guard or veteran status; and marital or familial status.

We have put diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center of our conversations for almost 20 years. At the same time, we humbly recognize this is an ongoing journey, and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable to being and doing better. Through collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation, we strive as an organization to be of and for all people, including but not limited to the board, staff, volunteers, community partners, and the people of North Carolina. We understand equity as both an outcome and a process and that how we work together is as vital as our work.

While land physically connects and grounds each of us, it has also been used for centuries to marginalize entire communities of people, impacting health outcomes, community resilience, and economic opportunities. This history shapes the ways traditional conservation continues to advantage some communities while disproportionately excluding others. As a conservation organization, we recognize that we have inherited and benefited from these harmful practices and strive not to add to that harm.

As we continue our DEI journey, we commit to:

  • acknowledging the past while striving for a better future;
  • serving in ways that acknowledge the traumatic impact of racism and other forms of oppression while aspiring to be a leader for change;
  • continuous listening, educating, and learning;
  • working to embed DEI into every aspect of our organization;
  • utilizing an actionable and measurable DEI strategy to help ensure our DEI work is sustainable;
  • supporting underrepresented communities across North Carolina and uplifting their stories.