In early 2019, it was brought to the attention of TTF Board Directors, Advisors, and staff that we had a lot of learning and action to take to be more inclusive and equitable. Some of our interactions were damaging to people of color and other minorities, especially in the form of microaggressions.
We recognize that our organization serves a diverse community, and we have always been committed to recognizing and improving our work to serve all of our community.
We appreciated being made aware of areas for improvement, and reflected on this experience as well as our overall mission, approach and consideration of DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) in our work. We have examined and expanded our previous DEIJ work. Board Directors, Advisors and staff participate in equity, identity, diversity and justice trainings on an ongoing basis to recognize our biases and privilege. We are committed to continuing to educate ourselves and our communities on these issues, and to apply this learning to our work at TTF, at our other jobs, and in our personal lives.
In addition, a Diversity Committee was formed and meets regularly to address DEIJ in TTF’s work and our community.
Resources that we have found valuable:
We are taking several steps to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, including:
- Completing a Diversity Survey of Staff and Board and comparing findings to our watershed demographics. Carefully considering Board member identities and needs for diverse members. Reaching out to and inviting Board Directors and Advisors who represent our community and bring new perspectives to our conversations and programs.
- Continually reviewing and improving access to all programming, with a special focus on our volunteer engagement efforts. Reviewing and discussing language to ensure inclusivity, and respect for and sensitivity to all peoples.
- Developing deeper awareness of environmental justice issues faced by our watershed communities including stormwater runoff, Combined Sewage Overflows, and flooding which disproportionately impact BIPOC communities. We plan to host conversations and programs and form partnerships to address these environmental injustices.
- Consistently providing DEIJ training sessions for Board and staff, and actively sharing materials and other training opportunities, including workshops with Youth Outside made possible by the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River.