In recent years more and more environmental organizations are dedicating their efforts to increasing inclusion and equity in their work. We have seen an even larger push of organizations re-evaluating their programs and internal structure within the recent weeks following protests throughout the country rallying against racial inequality. Environmental organizations are recognizing that creating an inclusive and equitable space is essential to prospering and fulfilling their various missions. Following the growing interest in equity and inclusion, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed has recently released their first volume of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Toolkit.
This 37-page volume of the toolkit is focused primarily on equity and inclusion within an organization’s culture, rather than external facing actions such as programming or member engagement. Oftentimes organizations will focus primarily on external engagement and are faced with setbacks that would have been mitigated if more of their efforts were directed at changing the internal workings of their organization before beginning external work. Diversity is not “the challenge of the moment”, but a goal that should be incorporated throughout an organization’s values and activities. Organizations that approach equity work by creating a solid foundation of internal organizational work find that they are more successful when they embark on increasing equity in their external work.
The toolkit covers a variety of topics, spanning from examples of environmental injustice in the Delaware River Watershed to governance structures to recruitment and retention. Alongside the toolkit the Coalition also has released a resource library that is consistently updated with new resources. Now that this volume has been released, the Coalition’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Toolkit will begin crafting the next volume that will focus on external facing programmatic and engagement activities, with the goal of releasing that volume in the spring of 2021.
If you or your organization has any questions or feedback regarding the toolkit, please contact Olivia Le Warn at firstname.lastname@example.org.