Excitement, discomfort and growth are just some of the feelings that come to mind when describing the Alliance’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) journey as an organization. It can feel odd to communicate such personal, heart-based work as the journey of an organization. In reality this is the journey of people – of the staff who work side by side to build our values into our work. We set a standard everyday with the conversations we have and partnerships we foster. But it is this intentionality that allows us to learn and grow from one another, and – even more so – for the organization to reflect this work in our strategic values.

We continue to encourage intentionality within the organization through transparent communication and expectations. While transparency is often associated with decision making and trust building, it can also be used as a form of accountability. In this vein, the Alliance’s DEIJ committee worked with our communications team to reform our DEIJ webpage.

Previous iterations of the webpage haven’t looked so different, including a DEIJ statement and public resources. However, it has lacked both our history and intentions in these efforts. The webpage now offers both, informing:

  • Our ‘why’ for prioritizing DEIJ;
  • The commitments of our organization and DEIJ committee; and
  • A timeline of our DEIJ journey from 2017 and for the future.

We recognize this journey as a continual process that involves ongoing self-reflection and improvement, as well as a commitment to continuously learning and evolving to better serve and support our stakeholders at every level. It is important to state that these are not one off-actions or checkboxes to complete, but ongoing dedications. While the Alliance’s programming inherently focuses around restoration, conservation, and environmental resilience, it is with social justice efforts that we see the sustained impacts of this work, and in turn communities that are better able to address environmental challenges.