Equity Commitment

The Deschutes Land Trust is committed to building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. This Equity Commitment is the commitment we make to our community to changing the way we work.

The Deschutes Land Trust believes in an inherent connection between all individuals and the natural world. Since our founding, we have prioritized the urgent need to protect natural areas for wildlife and other natural functions. Today, we are beginning to recognize and address the ways that conservation is necessarily linked to issues of social justice. By overlooking this connection until now, we understand that we have excluded the voices, participation, and values of marginalized and underserved community members at the expense of other worldviews, priorities, and forms of knowledge. This also means that we have not engaged with our broader community or realized our full potential to conserve land and resources for future generations.

We recognize that with the shortcomings of our past come opportunities for a better future. Committing ourselves to fostering a more culturally-responsive, inclusive, and equitable organization will require hard work and significant changes at the Land Trust, both at the individual level and in the way we work as a team of staff and board members.

Becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization is an indefinite process that requires much more than words, which can feel hollow to the communities and individuals they purport to serve. This process will undoubtedly be imperfect, but within that imperfection, we can still make concrete commitments that demand accountability.

2020-2022 Deschutes Land Trust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals

While the following commitments only represent a starting point, we feel that we need to set realistic, quantifiable, and objective targets in order to hold ourselves accountable. We look forward to continuously expanding our commitments moving forward.

In 2022, the Deschutes Land Trust commits to the following:

  • Taking actions and making decisions that improve the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of the Land Trust. This includes within our organization and in programming and projects that impact the broader community.
  • Fostering a culture of learning around diversity, equity, and inclusivity at the Land Trust. This includes offering regular learning opportunities for staff and board members.
  • Building our understanding of how we can increase the resources we devote to serving underrepresented communities, representing marginalized voices, and hiring/retaining staff from underrepresented/minority/marginalized backgrounds. Equity is, at root, about resource allocation, and this commitment recognizes that underlying truth.

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