Whatcom Land Trust’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Recent events of police brutality, massive demonstrations and outrage across the country have made us, like many, acutely aware of the extent to which the color of a person’s skin alone determines that person’s prospects for dignity, prosperity, safety and equal opportunities in life. Things that we may have known in our minds, we came to feel in our hearts when we heard what Black parents tell their children, particularly young boys, about how to survive in a white dominated culture; when we heard about a black birdwatcher assaulted by white privilege in Central Park; when we saw the video and heard the last words of George Floyd. 

Of course, the injustices and inequities generated by racism are not limited to Black People. Both now and in our history, these injustices and inequities have tragically affected other people of color in our community as well. The events of the last few weeks have forced us to look inside and ask how we as a land conservation organization can better include people from these communities in participating in our work and enjoying the benefits of that work. 

The job of Whatcom Land Trust is to conserve habitat, agricultural, open space and recreational lands in Whatcom County for the long-term benefit of all people regardless of color, creed, gender, legal or economic status, or sexual orientation and for the benefit of other animals and plants that inhabit these lands. Our intentions have always been to be respectful of the impact our decisions have on marginalized peoples and to invite people of all backgrounds and heritages to join us. We are now convinced that we can and should do better at reaching out and engaging with people of color in our community. As we move forward, we are committed to identifying ways we can promote, support, and welcome communities of color in Whatcom County and on our properties. 

We have begun and will continue to listen to voices from communities of color in Whatcom County as to how we can involve these communities in what we do, support them in what they do, and make them welcome in experiencing our remarkable natural environment and recreational opportunities. In the coming weeks and months, we will announce specific initiatives aimed at achieving these goals. 

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