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Equity and Inclusion

The Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s (JCWC) mission is to promote restoration and stewardship of a healthy Johnson Creek watershed through sound science and community engagement. JCWC aims to make our programs and community engagement efforts serve all residents of the watershed.

Equity Statement

Johnson Creek Watershed Council welcomes ALL people who live, work, and play around Johnson Creek. We acknowledge there is a legacy of systemic inequalities within our watershed. The Council is devoted to doing our part to heal the legacy of systemic racism and inequality  by enriching the lives of all people who touch Johnson Creek Watershed.

Community Engagement and Inclusion Committee

The Community Inclusion Committee (CI Committee) is a Board committee composed of JCWC staff, Board members, and community partners . The committee has organized to address equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work. This CI Committee meets monthly to discuss how JCWC can better represent our diverse watershed.

From September 2016 to January 2017 The Community Inclusion Committee completed the Coalition of Communities of Color Tool for Organizational Self-Assessment Regarding Racial Equity. At this point, the committee was composed of 3 board members and 4 staff members. Throughout this process, committee members identified goals and objectives for an Equity and Inclusion Plan. The Equity and Inclusion Plan is designed to guide the Council’s movement toward becoming a more equitable, inclusive, diverse, and anti-racist environmental organization.

Equity and Inclusion Plan

The Equity and Inclusion Plan is organized around three main categories: governance, facilities, and building community. These categories reflect the structure of the 2017-2022 JCWC Strategic Plan. These two guiding documents were created with the same structure at the same time to allow for the two to work together. The Equity and Inclusion Plan is active for 5 years, from 2017-2022.

Read Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s Equity and Inclusion Plan.

What have we been up to lately?

We’ve had the chance to do a lot of external workshops and trainings and also help each other do internal work and learning as well. We’ve turned to the leadership of marginalized groups in collaborative project development, and are continually learning and deepening our partnerships over time. At the board and staff level, we’ve been taking a close look at our policies and practices and restructuring them to be more equitable from recruitment for hiring to how we hold relationships with each other. 

 

Here are some of our most recent highlights…

 

Community Inclusion Committee (CIC)

The Community Inclusion Committee meets every other month. Recent projects we’ve been working on include a workplace culture document for new employees, legal review of our employee handbook with special attention to discrimination and harassment, discussion of restorative/transformative justice methods for use at JCWC, demographic collection, and integrating the Equity Action Plan with the Strategic Plan. 

 

Staff

One staff member and our board chair have been participants in two of the Intertwine’s equity cohort trainings, in the Change Agent and Implementation cohorts. These experiences crystalize many of the existing DEI learning and trainings we have completed in the past and put them into concrete forms, such as vision statements, personal equity lenses, learning modules, group problem solving, and peer support networks. This is approximately 30 hours of learning and practice each.

 

Two staff participated in an invite-only, two-half day Meyer Memorial Trust Tribal relations workshop. This highlighted a brief history of Indigenous treaty law, ‘the four pillars of our people,’ a discussion on land acknowledgements, and best practices for working with tribes in environmental organizations. 

 

Weekly staff meetings have historically had a 30 minute, rotating staff led DEI discussion section, and our staff made the plunge away from talk and into action! We have shifted the focus into project focused work, where the full staff can have a role in planning, and implementing a DEI focused project that impacts the watershed. Currently we are in the works on a DEI centered stormwater project. 

 

Policies and practices we have in place

Volunteer Creek Crew Leaders Interrupting Bias training

Employee Handbook- edited with special attention on harassment and discrimination

Hiring practices for contractors who are on the Minority and Women Owned Businesses list

 

What’s coming up in the future

 

Policies and practices we’re working on:

An official equity lens

DEI training resources for new Board members 

Values and expectations agreement for speakers and other representatives

Workplace Culture Handbook

Integrating the Equity Action Plan with the Strategic Plan

Relationship building strategy for the full Board

 

Thoughts or feedback? Please let us know! You can email [email protected]