Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Environmental Justice Statement
We recognize that
- Each and every person has the right to respect, justice, clean water, clean air, safe housing, gainful employment, health care, and personal development.
- These rights are valid regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, abilities, religion, culture, age, sexual or romantic orientation, and background, experiences, skills and expertise.
- Each person should be represented, invited, and enabled, to fully and safely participate in all organizations.
- Our cultures, political systems, economies and practices are permeated by systems of oppression that have created, and continue to create, systemic inequality and underrepresentation for many people and communities.
- Existing social networks and organizations, including our own, often unintentionally support these patterns of harm and oppression and unintentionally limit the ability of disadvantaged communities to make changes for the better.
- It is the responsibility of all people and organizations, but especially of those who are privileged, to learn about these systems and habits of oppression and how to dismantle them in order to ensure a just and equitable future for all.
- Not everyone is equally responsible, and oppressed communities are less responsible, for climate change and the resulting environmental impact.
- Climate change has impacted, and will increasingly impact, oppressed communities to a greater extent than privileged communities.
Therefore, MassEnergize commits to
- Educate our board, staff, and community leaders, especially those of us who are privileged, on how to check our power and our defensivenness about our privilege, and on how to be conscious of, and consciously interrupt and transform, the systems of oppression in ourselves, our work and work culture.
- Educate our board and staff, and community leaders to see and celebrate the diversity in our cities and towns, to make our spaces safe for all, and to deliberately pursue true representation, while avoiding tokenism and working toward being deserving of the status of ally given by oppressed groups and communities.
- Educate our board, staff and community leaders to facilitate climate solutions that actively redress our historic inequities, and that make our cities and towns more just, inclusive, and equitable.
- Deliberately engage with disadvantaged and oppressed communities and learn from them if/how we can make their work more impactful without putting the burden on them of addressing systemic oppression or of taking disproportionate climate action.
- Partner with organizations working directly with oppressed communities, to learn from them if/how we can make their work more impactful.
- Support state, regional, and local-level programs and policies that ensure a just transition for workers and uplift a green economy for all people.
- Always welcome feedback about power, privilege, harm and oppression.
- Persevere, knowing that this may be unfamiliar to some of us, that we will make many mistakes, and that we have an opportunity to turn negative reactions like defensiveness, shame and guilt, into motivation.