Our Commitment to equity
To truly achieve the mission of The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County we must first acknowledge past inequities in the conservation movement. We recognize that we must care for the well-being of people and places. We will work toward dismantling racism and discrimination within the land conservation community, and we commit to listen, learn, and elevate the voices of all cultures. We strive to build partnerships that foster strong community relationships toward conserving our lands together. We commit to build a future where our conservation work includes equitable business and management practices, is welcoming and inclusive of all people, and establishes a sense of belonging for our entire community.
We believe nature, and our human connection to it, is vital to people’s health and well-being. We recognize that the conservation movement throughout history has not always been inclusive, and in some cases has not been just, in its treatment of marginalized communities. We also recognize that these groups have been disproportionately harmed by environmental impacts such as poor air quality, contaminated water sources, herbicide and pesticide application, heat waves, and flooding. Though well intentioned, private land conservation has historically played a role in exacerbating inequitable access to land and to its benefits.
We understand that local parks, protected lands, nature-based programming, and nature itself may not be accessible or welcoming to all people in our community. And that the past work of our organization has not always considered their voice.
We acknowledge that the lands we are working to conserve are the ancestral and unceded homelands of the Northern Chumash and Salinan tribes and that those lands were taken from them without compensation. We further acknowledge that today our local tribes still have strong connections to our local lands and a deep knowledge of how to steward them.
We know that while our organization strives to serve our entire community and protect nature for all it inherently provides to everyone…we need to do more.
We promise to make conservation in San Luis Obispo County more inclusive to all and commit to taking further action to ensure more people have access to our programs and services. We will foster engagement with Black, Indigenous, People of Color, people with disabilities, urban and rural groups, veterans’ groups, small family farms, youth, and other underserved communities. We will do our best to ensure our volunteers, staff, and visitors to our lands feel welcomed and supported, including making improvements to our internal business practices and pathways of communication. We will celebrate diversity and seek opinions and perspectives from a broad, diverse network to inform our work. Finally, we will work proactively alongside our tribal partners to acknowledge their experience and reconnect them with their ancestral homelands.
We are committed to serving everyone no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, orientation, gender, gender identity, age, abilities, socioeconomic status, or political ideology in our programs or on our team. This includes engaging traditionally underserved communities with targeted engagement and programs. We will promote equity, inclusion, and cultural relevance throughout our organization and with our partner organizations. We will not tolerate discrimination or aggression towards anyone on our properties or in our facilities.
We believe that connecting people to the land and to each other is a critical part of our work. We will only be successful if our programs and projects benefit everyone. We are committed to becoming a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable organization – serving the people of our community and protecting the lands in which we live, work, and play.