CTNC understands equity as both an outcome and a process.
While land physically connects and grounds every one of us, it has also been used for centuries to marginalize entire communities of people, impacting health outcomes, community resilience, and economic opportunities. As a conservation organization, we recognize that we have inherited and benefitted from these harmful practices. This history shapes the ways traditional conservation continues to disproportionately advantage wealthy white communities, while excluding poorer communities, especially communities of color.
We commit ourselves, as an organization that seeks to be of and for all people, to conserving land in ways that help heal the wounds inflicted by racism. This is an ongoing process, and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable to being and doing better.
Through examination of our organization and the broader conservation movement’s culture and practice, CTNC makes these equity commitments:
- Acknowledging that we still have much to learn about our race equity practice
- Holding ourselves and each other accountable for our own learning and growth
- Creating a culturally inclusive organization that leverages the strengths of all staff and board members, grounded in a deep appreciation for our differences
- Confronting the history of racialized land loss and displacement and examining our place within that legacy
- Reflecting on our organizational practices and assessing their impacts – intended or unintended – on marginalized communities
- Engaging in authentic, mutually beneficial relationships, allowing us to both impact and be impacted by communities that have been excluded from traditional conservation
- Prioritizing conservation-related concerns felt most acutely by marginalized communities as fundamental guiding criteria for our practices
- Collaborating with partners and organizations across sectors to amplify our collective impact and support lasting change
- Creating accountability systems to assess and measure progress toward our equity goals