Equity & Inclusion​

Our approach

All are welcome and safe here.

Johnson Creek Watershed Council welcomes ALL people who live, work, and play around Johnson Creek. We also acknowledge the 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 serving all the people who’s lives intersect with Johnson Creek.

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

Our Equity and Inclusion Plan is

Fully Integrated in Our Strategic Plan

Three-Pronged Approach​

Our 2023 Strategic Plan is based on three fundamental committments:

Build and Sustain Collaborative Relationships
Center Ecosystem Resilience in Watershed Restoration
Strengthen Organizational Capacity for Sustainability and Equity

These committments center equity and inclusion in our fundamental guiding document and reflect our efforts to make the Johnson Creek Watershed an inviting and welcome space.

They evolved from our efforts to actively address these issues with our 2017-2022 Equity and Inclusion Plan. For five years, we focused on building our governance, our facilities, and our community programming to be more equitable and inclusive.

Following are some of the steps we’ve taken:

Leach Back 5 Project

The Leach Back 5 Project was conceived as a living laboratory to provide science and mindfulness experiences in habitat restoration project. Through this project, BIPOC youth are transforming three acres into a healthy native ecosystem and urban field station.

This five partner project includes the Blueprint Foundation, The African Youth and Community Organization, Wisdom of the Elders, Leach Botanical Garden, and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council.

The story of the Leach Back Five Project.

How We Work with the Community

Hiring practices for contractors
We developed a ranking system for selecting contracts includes positive points for if the contractor is the who are on the Minority-owned, Women-owned, and Emerging Small Businesses list.

Values and expectations agreement for speakers and other representatives
People in positions of power who represent the Council are asked to consider the relevancy, messages, and methods they use when interacting with our community, for example, at events.

Volunteer Creek Crew Leaders Interrupting Bias training
Our volunteer leaders are trained to work with restoration volunteers and receive hands-on training for how to address racial and other biases in a productive way as a leader representing JCWC. 

Our Policies and Practices for Working Here

Our Emloyee Handbook outlines legal policies and actions regarding pay, vacation, and other logistics of employee conduct while working at the Council, such as our policies and practices for a safe and inclusive culture incorporating ideals of a restorative justice framework when dealing with harm, including safe routes to report harassment or discrimination. 

At the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, we aspire to a higher standard of interpersonal conduct for our employees and interns than the law requires. Our Workplace Culture Handbook is intended to outline our cultural standards as an organization. It is a living document that can be updated and improved with new perspectives, so that our organization can evolve together.

Both of these documents are given to employees, Board members, and interns as part of their orientation for working with the Council.

Our Board of Directors

DEI training resources for new Board members 
Personal commitment to DEI is a priority characteristic in members of our Board, and we want to share resources with newcomers to orient them to where we’re at organizationally in this work.

Relationship building strategy for the full Board
Capacity building strategy to guide Board members in long-lasting, reciprocal relationship building with community partners, to support in staff efforts to minimize loss of relationships in turnover in either Board or staff.

Community Engagement & Inclusion Committee

Our Community Engagment & Inclusion 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.

In 2017, the committee completed the Coalition of Communities of Color Tool for Organizational Self-Assessment Regarding Racial Equity. Through this process, members identified goals and objectives that were included in our 2017-2022 Equity and Inclusion Plan. The Equity and Inclusion Plan was designed to guide the Council’s movement toward becoming a more equitable, inclusive, diverse, and anti-racist environmental organization and was fully integrated with our 2023 Strategic Plan.

The Community Engagement & Inclusion Committee meets monthly to discuss how JCWC can better represent our diverse watershed.

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