Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Why a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Action Plan?

Commitments

Support Our Climate as we sustain and grow our work and diversify organizational leadership, staff, board, program members, and volunteers;
Holistically evaluate Our Climate’s policies, processes, and programs, identify trends and prioritize action to address inequities within the organization;
Implement a measurable plan that will hold Our Climate accountable to becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization;
Create a culture that encourages and incentivizes Our Climate participants to hold hard conversations and encourages and values action.

Process

Our process was first led by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee within Our Climate’s Millennial Advisory Board. The committee was made up of eight students, one board member, and one staff member, and was facilitated by the Deputy Director. The Committee surveyed all staff, board, and over 50 student alumni on their experiences with Our Climate, wrote and edited multiple drafts of the plan with  feedback from our staff and board, and solicited feedback from a DEI consultant before our board approved the final plan in September 2019. This plan is written around three overarching commitments:

    • Diversity in Organizational Leadership

    • Equitable and Inclusive Organizing Practices

    • Equitable and Inclusive Access to Our Climate’s Programs

In 2021, we began working closely with Dr. Akilah Cadet and her Change Cadet team to continue our journey of DEIJ. This process has included sensitivity editing of all of our organizational documents. In addition to our documents, our organizational policies and best practices have been updated to include language and actions endorsing DEIJ work. Dr. Cadet has led our team and student leaders on a series of DEIJ workshops, including “Dismantling White Dominant Culture and Apology” and “From Ally to Anti Racist”. 

In efforts to develop and grow as an organization, we took a look at our mission and values and examined how well they represented us. In this work we uncovered what was missing and what no longer defined Our Climate. We then continued our development with conversations regarding growth, and the changes that come with it. Our DEIJ work has created an open dialogue and understanding, critical to the progress of Our Climate. As we continue to evolve as an organization we look forward to investing in more resources and time into DEIJ.

Accountability

We will be held accountable to this process by holding quarterly DEI Committee led check-ins, to share tangible changes, evaluations, and other related updates with the committee about the implementation of the Action Plan. Additionally, we will share this plan with our program participants, partners, and donors in an effort to make this work known and to be held accountable by outside forces. Our Climate will send a yearly demographics survey, drafted in partnership with our partners Green 2.0, to staff, student leaders, and board, and funders to assess our growth as an organization. Our Climate has also created a confidential incident report form that is accessible to staff and student leaders to report DEIJ concerns if they should arise. 

We would like to thank the following people for serving on the DEI Committee: Jonathan Villaneuva, Robin Chapman, Ava Harrington, Cecelia Bolon, Jessica Hart, Jen Van Strander, Allison Romer, Eben Bein, and Raven Graf. The committee was facilitated by Cassidy Jones. We would also like to thank Post-Landfill Action Network for their time and willing to serve us with their consultation. Finally, we would like to thank and highly recommend Michaela Ayers from NOURISH Consulting and Dr. Akilah Cadet of Change Cadet, for their expertise and support in guiding our vision and intentions into action.


Lastly, we recognize this as an ever changing and evolving process. We are open to and eager for feedback and questions. To learn more about our DEI Action Plan, you can read the full plan here or reach out to our National Policy and Programs Manager Emily Martin at emily@ourclimate.us

Our Climate collects demographic information related to race, gender, economic background, educational background, pronouns, and other important information such as immigration status, being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and accessibility needs. 

We are the Generations that MUST ACT!

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