Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at American Rivers

The full PDF of American Rivers’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan can be downloaded here.
The FY21 Progress Report on the American Rivers Board of Directors’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan can be downloaded here.

For nearly 50 years, the mission of American Rivers has been to protect wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature. Today, this mission is more vital than ever, and we envision a future of clean water and healthy rivers for everyone, everywhere. To achieve our mission and vision, we must cultivate diversity, promote equity and foster inclusion in all aspects of our work.

The beauty of rivers is that they connect people and nature everywhere. It is why we seek to address and correct the underlying, systemic inequities around water that affect people and communities. We will develop an internal culture that honors differences and reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. The lived experiences, perspectives, knowledge, innovation and talent that each individual and community brings to our work are critical to our effectiveness ensuring that every community in the country has clean water and a healthy river.

We cannot be complacent about our role or satisfied with business as usual in river conservation. Rather, we see social change as an imperative. Only then will we begin to address our country’s long history of marginalization of people based on the color of their skin, how much money they have, or where they grew up. Only then will we begin to dismantle the ways in which conservation has fed and perpetuated these inequities. We at American Rivers will thoughtfully and honestly examine our operations, culture and conservation work to address these issues and that we establish a common understanding of and language for these concepts.

DIVERSITY means recognizing the many differences between people. We acknowledge and embrace these differences as we build a culture and workforce that reflects the places we serve.

EQUITY is the fair treatment of all people based on the particular needs, preferences, challenges and histories of various groups. To promote equity, we will expand our objectives, remove barriers to participation, and redistribute resources and rights for marginalized groups so that everyone can have access to opportunities needed to reach their goals.

INCLUSION refers to creating space and opportunity for traditionally excluded groups to participate in processes, activities and decision-making. We respect the power, authority and leadership of marginalized and oppressed communities. We ensure authentic participation by sharing power, recognition, resources, and by amplifying the voices of people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of environmental threats and related policies.