Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

Photo: Cyn Fusselman
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Our vision for ourselves, our organization, and our role in conservation
Our Why

The Conservation Alliance represents a coalition of businesses that fund and advocate for the protection of North America’s wild places. Through our work, we consolidate and redistribute power in the form of financial grants and political influence to grassroots environmental organizations working to permanently protect the outdoor spaces we love.

The collective nature of our organization is our greatest strength. We bring together voices across various industries and advocate with a unified message on behalf of shared environmental values and business interests. We have been advocating for wild places for more than 30 years, and we know that success happens when a diverse coalition of voices and perspectives comes together and champions solutions that balance the best interests of the land and water, wildlife, and people.

When there are systems or structures in place that amplify some voices while excluding others, we can’t do our best work. We know such systems exist within the environmental movement, because organizations with power and influence have historically been predominantly white. We are committed to changing these systems through our grant program, advocacy efforts, and partnerships, and by doing so, making a positive impact on the environmental movement and the communities we serve.

Our Vision

We envision a world where wild places, wildlife, and people thrive together. Protecting vast landscapes supports climate resiliency and biodiversity by preserving carbon stores and critical habitat. Humans need wild spaces and rivers for recreation and well being, and businesses and communities thrive from access to outdoor recreation, clean water, and healthy forests. When people experience nature—whether it’s along the river that flows through their community, in a designated mountain wilderness, or in an untouched landscape—they become advocates for the outdoors and protecting wild places.

Therefore, our vision of a successful conservation movement is a coalition of everyone—where the people we’re partnering with and advocating alongside represent the diversity of our country in every way possible. We envision a movement that values and incorporates the traditional knowledge and stewardship practices of indigenous peoples who have been present on the land for millennia, and still are. We believe in protecting land and water for their myriad benefits, from climate resiliency to close-to-home outdoor access.

Our Journey and Commitments

In order to achieve our vision, we must actively work to create systems of inclusion within ourselves as individuals, within our organizational culture, processes, and programs, and through our role in a greater conservation and environmental movement. This work takes time and consistent, life-long commitment.

As a coalition of business leaders and conservationists, we feel an acute urgency to demonstrate our sincerity through our actions. Yet, we understand that meaningful and lasting change begins with gaining clarity and alignment on our intended outcomes and how to get there. We strive for a blend of humility, patience, and determination as we work to transform ourselves, shift our culture, build upon our 32-year organizational history, and connect with networks and communities who have not been part of our alliance in the past. We know that our vision and path forward will evolve, and we commit to being transparent in both our mistakes and successes. We welcome the guidance and feedback of our members, grantees, supporters, and those we have yet to meet.

We’ll have made meaningful progress when we share ownership of our mission with our partners and communities, broaden access to decision-making power over funding and project priorities, and when we expand and diversify access to our financial resources and political clout. This will require an ongoing practice of evaluating and letting go of existing beliefs, processes, and control, and reimagining what conservation and being a conservationist truly mean.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
What these terms mean to us in the context of our work 
Justice

Hold ourselves accountable for using our power and privilege to address systems of bias and exclusion inhibiting our collective work.

Equity

Create the conditions necessary to expand access to our resources, opportunities, and the work we do.

Diversity

Actively recognize and value the ways in which different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences contribute to our work and the conservation movement.

Inclusion

Create systems that invite a variety of voices and perspectives by engaging with openness and curiosity, actively removing barriers to participation or access, and seeking out those who might be missing from the conversation.