Equity, Diversity + Inclusion Action Plan

In 2012, Oregon Environmental Council identified equity as a core priority of our new strategic plan, with diversity and inclusion as critical strategies towards environmental justice. OEC is also committed to dismantling racism that undermines these goals. The organization established an organizational committee (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion — JEDI) charged with ensuring we implement this goal in our daily operations, program and policy work. The committee is made up of staff from across the organization, including management, members of our Board of Directors, and members of our Emerging Leaders Board.

Our JEDI plan sets measurable goals and outcomes to ensure that the organization as a whole is advancing equity, and that staff and board are held accountable for their commitment to advancing this core priority. Goals and strategies for 2018 include:

Internal practices and policies:

  • Hold trainings for staff, Board and Emerging Leaders Board that build individual and organizational commitments to equity.
  • Ensure supervisors are trained in cultural responsiveness and culturally appropriate management, and ways to support inclusion and equity work.
  • Working with a consultant, review recruitment practices and adopt strategies to attract a diversity of applicants for open positions and retain diverse staff with a more inclusive work environment.
  • Build information about our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion into our orientation process.
  • Create a work plan to ensure that our marketing and communications strategies support equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Build greater accountability for individual equity work into staff work planning and internal accountability systems, including a grievance procedure.

External practices and policies:

  • Working with an equity coach/consultant, provide direct support to staff on how to apply an equity lens to our work and what being a strong ally to community of color-led organizations means.
  • Continue to track, analyze and support as appropriate the social justice priorities of our community partners.
  • Continue to participate as a member of the One Oregon coalition in resisting anti-immigrant ballot measures, and recruit others in the environmental advocacy community to support immigrant rights.
  • Continue to support community partners at their educational, social and fundraising events.
  • Continue to support people-of-color-owned businesses and create a long-term goal and methodology to deepen that commitment.

Diversity is one of the greatest powers we can employ towards advancing equitable environmental solutions that last. We need the power of all of Oregon’s diverse perspectives, skills, talents and ingenuity to solve today’s greatest environmental challenges. We need collaboration around a common vision if we are to create lasting, transformative change. Oregon Environmental Council is committed to creating a work environment for employees and our community partners that attracts and supports diversity. OEC will strive to support people in bringing their authentic selves to the workplace—including a range of interests, talents and perspectives. OEC will also seek opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in environmental decision-making such as advocating for diverse appointments to state and local boards and commissions.

A diversity of ideas, experiences and views contribute toward more enduring and resilient solutions to Oregon’s environmental challenges. Diversity is strength. In order to understand and act on the issues that face an increasingly diverse population, OEC has prioritized:

  • Building strong, responsive relationships with community-of-color partners. As one example, the Coalition of Communities of Color and OEC partnered on a project to intentionally build and strengthen relationships between environmental organizations and organizations representing people of color. That project identified barriers to working together, strategies to address those barriers, organizational intersections, and opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
  • Actively supporting the policy priorities of community of color organizations, including opposing anti-immigrant initiatives, supporting legislation to address racial profiling, and more. We have joined the One Oregon United Against Hate coalition and are helping secure pledges to stand with Oregon’s communities of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized communities in the face of fear and hate.
  • Engaging other conservation organizations in trainings and conversations about diversity and equity, including organizing a three-part event series on social and environmental equity issues for our peer environmental NGOs, with over 200 participants.
  • Maintaining an internal Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team. This team includes members of our staff, Board of Directors and Emerging Leaders Board. The group meets on a monthly basis to review our internal diversity plan, set goals and stay accountable to progress towards those goals.

Here is the current breakdown at OEC:

Oregon OEC Board of Directors OEC Staff
Racial Diversity (self-identifying) 17% people of color 33% people of color 29% people of color
LGBTQ (self-identifying) 5%  11% 21%
Female/Male Ratio 51%/49%  44%/56% 86%/14%

OEC recognizes we have a long way to go. We value honest feedback from communities of color as we implement our equity, diversity and inclusion plan. We hope to play a real and lasting role in addressing socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services in Oregon as they relate to a healthy environment.