Rocky Mountain Wild engages people in collaborative solutions to local environmental problems through advocacy and community science. This requires us to be in right relationship with the land, species, and communities in our region.
Being in right relationship means “to embody respect and reciprocity in order to foster healthy relationships with our plant, animal, and human relatives. It means to move through the world with an awareness of your impact on the communities and ecosystems with which you share the earth. To maintain right relations, consider how your actions impact others, be generous with your time, energy, and resources, and help maintain balance in the natural world.” – Together Bay Area
While Rocky Mountain Wild has a long, storied history of being in right relationship with the land and species, we recognize that we have not always been in right relationship with the people and communities of our region. Until recently, we have ignored, been ignorant of, and perpetuated inequities that exist in our society, and worked in state-prescribed ways that violated the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. This means that we have often been on the wrong side of justice. While we can’t undo what we have done, we can and will face the difficult truths of our complicity, learn from our mistakes, and do better moving forward.
We now recognize that our research, community science projects, and legal actions must operate from a place of ecological justice—a view that recognizes that 1) everything is interrelated, 2) alone, we don’t know everything; together we know a lot, 3) social justice is part of and interconnected with environmental work, and 4) wild lands and wildlife are entitled to what they need to survive and thrive.
Ecological justice must involve a cooperative process that is interconnected and comprehensive in order to be effective. While we understood this to be true when it came to our conservation work, we now understand it is true for our organizational structure as well.
To better achieve ecological justice internally, Rocky Mountain Wild has transformed from a hierarchical model to a shared leadership model. We have also formed a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee of board, staff, and community members to help move this work forward.
In the last few years, Rocky Mountain Wild has worked to increase our cultural competency through ongoing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training, by analyzing our internal and external policies through an equity lens, and contracting with equity-focused contractors to help us when we don’t have the internal knowledge necessary to make the most equitable decisions. We have also had difficult conversations with and, at times, said goodbye to previous supporters, volunteers, and community scientists who were not willing or ready to be on this journey with us.
We recognize our responsibility in affirming and ensuring the inherent dignity of everyone, and the positive and community-building impact we have when we disrupt harm that shows up in environmental movements to our marginalized members.
The JEDI Committee’s mission is to transform the culture and systems of Rocky Mountain Wild to fundamentally shift the access, inclusion, and equity embedded in the organization. Our goal is to grow into a humanistic and liberatory workspace for our staff, board, volunteers, community scientists, and supporters.
If you would like to join the Committee and push this work, please email the JEDI Committee Chair, Chris, with some specifics about your background and interest.
We are on this journey together, and we know we have a long way to go. But we are committed to always doing better. And we ask you to hold us accountable when we fall short.