2020 was a transformational year for all of us and exposed great inequities in our country and in our watershed. These inequities aren’t new and aren’t over. Last week’s attack on the Capitol showed that we all need to carry the mantle of protecting our democracy and standing up for justice. Indeed, that’s what our work is about. We fight for everyone’s essential right to clean water and we hold its stewards accountable.

However, green groups, including us, have a race problem. We can’t be successful unless we listen, respect, validate, and cooperate with all stakeholders in our watershed. A time of great reckoning is here, and Russian Riverkeeper is committing to the practice of Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI).

What is JEDI?

  • Justice: Dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals & communities can live a full and fair life. These barriers are essentially the “isms” in society: racism, classism, sexism, etc.
  • Equity: Allocating resources to ensure everyone has access to the resources & opportunities needed to ensure equal outcomes. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers exist. Equity is the approach & equality is the outcome.
  • Diversity: The differences among us from which we experience systemic advantages or encounter systemic barriers to opportunities.
  • Inclusion: Fostering a sense of belonging by centering, valuing, & amplifying the voices, perspectives & styles of those who experience barriers based on their identities.

What’s next?

Our first step has been to commit to codifying JEDI standards into our own governing policies and ensure that both our internal operations and external plans and actions replect those policies. We’re enthusiastic about this time of growth with fellow members in our movement through Waterkeeper Alliance and California Coastkeeper Alliance. We’re also looking to local community groups to help us prioritize and to set us on the best path toward achieving social justice. We’re looking forward to keeping you updated on our progress.

If you are passionate about justice issues in Sonoma County, have suggestions, or would like to connect, please contact Ariel Majorana.