From Climate Solutions' Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Year 1 Plan, adopted in May 2018:
Climate Solutions Strategic Plan states that “equity, diversity and inclusion are not simply co-benefits within a successful campaign; they are intrinsic values both for the goals we envision and for the strategies and paths that will lead us there.” This plan is intended to advance Climate Solutions’ shared values: justice, respect, perseverance, integrity, determination, and collaboration. In particular, our justice value states:
“To achieve climate stability and resilience, we must address injustice and inequity in our own communities and beyond. All people, all communities, and all nations deserve the opportunity to share equitably in health, economic security, dignity, self-determination, and the pursuit of happiness.”
What it Means to Climate Solutions to Lead with a Racial Equity Lens
Climate Solutions is a climate organization that is accountable to making progress in fulfilling our core mission of accelerating clean energy solutions to the climate crisis.
We recognize that institutional racism, including systems and behaviors that maintain white power and privilege, exists within our organization, the broader climate and environmental movement, and throughout society. We also recognize that the impacts of the climate crisis, pollution from fossil fuels, and at times the costs of proposed solutions fall disproportionately on communities of color, low income, Tribal Nations, and frontline communities, both in our region and across the world. This is a barrier to a more equitable future and our ability to achieve our mission.
Climate Solutions has chosen to lead our work with a racial equity lens as a strategy to address all forms of oppression. Our society is steeped in gender, economic, sexual orientation, and a myriad of current and historic injustices. We believe that leading with a racial equity lens is necessary to transform institutions and systematic policies and practices to achieve equity and justice for all.
As such, Climate Solutions is committed to leading with a racial equity lens in the following ways:
- We will continue our efforts to actively recruit and to increase racial diversity on our staff and board, and ensuring that equity is at the center of the hiring process when hiring new staff members.
- We strive for equitable and inclusive decision making and power sharing, including 1) internal policies, systems and culture; and 2) external relationships, coalition partners, communications and resource allocation
- In our work, we are committed to asking this question: how do our programs/policies/actions impact and benefit low-income people, communities of color, Tribal Nations, and frontline communities? We recognize that our work has not always included a deeply diverse grassroots base so we will rely on our community based partners to help answer this question, as well as to provide input on proposed solutions to address the climate crisis and environmental justice.
- We are committed to building deep, accountable relationships with community of color, Tribal Nations, and equity partners. When developing policies and campaigns we engage at the beginning with communities of color to listen to their perspectives and understand their needs. We recognize the importance of being accountable to these communities and will ask for their feedback.
- We acknowledge that there may be conflict and disagreement internally and with our equity partners and frontline communities on policy, strategy, and tactics. We endeavor to do so rarely and in the spirit of shared commitment to climate and equity progress, and our long-term relationships.
- We will strive to reach out to other historically white led organizations to share our experiences and commitments, learn from them, and encourage our individual and collective efforts to address racial equity.
We recognize that all work that we are doing as part of our broad Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion plan is a journey that we are humbly pursuing. We are engaged in an ongoing process rooted in deep commitment, grounded in curiosity and ongoing learning, and to making changes as we continue along the path. We acknowledge that the organization’s actions on equity disproportionately impact our staff and board of color.
Climate Solutions completed our first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion plan in May of 2018. That plan represented phase I of our commitment to this work. We are currently evaluating our work and developing our phase II plan so that we can continue to progress and to reflect the commitments and intentions of this document.